Sejong Bae HyungKyoung Park Young-Il Kim Warner Huh


There is a need to investigate the impact of social media use on patient compliance with important health screenings as research findings on the effect of using social media on cervical cancer screening were not consistent. This study assessed associations between social media use and adherence in women at risk for breast and cervical cancer to mammogram and Pap smear screening. Total 6695 respondents from the Health Information National Trends Survey (HINTS) 5, Cycle 1 and 2 datasets were used for data analysis. Chi-square tests were used to explore social networking activities and cancer screening compliance, and multivariate logistic regressions were used to identify factors predicting cancer screening compliance. Among total respondents, 68% of women and 84% of women complied with mammogram and Pap smear, respectively. Women who used the internet during last 12 months to visit a social networking site, to participate in a forum support group for medical issue and to watch a health-related video on YouTube complied with Pap smear more significantly than women who did not use the internet (p <.05, p <.0001, and p <.001 respectively). Variables predicting compliance with mammogram and Pap smear were age, health insurance, regular provider, marital status, and internet use.  There was no significant association between social networking activities and compliance with mammogram screening.  It is critical to use the same and up-to-date guidelines when reporting cancer screening rates to effectively promote adherence to cancer prevention programs and to make valid and reliable comparisons across studies.