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ACR: Collaboration May Up Facebook Awareness of Lupus

Last Updated: October 30, 2013.

Partnering with a lupus foundation is associated with increased patient awareness and participation in Facebook chats about lupus and related health issues, according to a study presented at the annual meeting of the American College of Rheumatology, held from Oct. 25 to 30 in San Diego.

WEDNESDAY, Oct. 30 (HealthDay News) -- Partnering with a lupus foundation is associated with increased patient awareness and participation in Facebook chats about lupus and related health issues, according to a study presented at the annual meeting of the American College of Rheumatology, held from Oct. 25 to 30 in San Diego.

Nadine H. Spring, M.P.H., from the Hospital for Special Surgery in New York City, and colleagues conducted three Facebook chats. The first discussed lupus and medications; the second discussed lupus, pregnancy, and reproductive health; and the third (done in collaboration with a lupus foundation) discussed lupus and general health.

The researchers found that 2,280 users saw the first chat post, with 60 questions and comments from 20 users. For the second chat, 2,203 people saw the post, with 25 questions and comments from 12 users. For the third chat done in collaboration with the lupus foundation, 6,624 people saw the post, with 162 questions and comments and 123 participants representing six countries and 28 states. The authors note that participation was higher when topics were more general, and participation in the second chat may have been lower due to privacy concerns.

"This experience suggests that partnering with disease-specific community organizations can enhance delivery of health education programs," Spring and colleagues conclude.

One author disclosed a financial relationship with GlaxoSmithKline.

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