Consumers Are Most Frequent Posters of Contraception Info on Social Media

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  • Consumers Are Most Frequent Posters of Contraception Info on Social Media

Social media posts on X most often include guidance on contraception methods, side effects

MONDAY, April 1, 2024 (HealthDay News) — Social media is a popular conduit for birth control information, according to a study published online Feb. 7 in Contraception and Reproductive Medicine.

Melody Huang, Ph.D., from Harvard Medical School in Boston, and colleagues analyzed contraceptive content on the social media platform X (formerly Twitter). The analysis included a random subset of 1 percent of publicly available, English-language tweets related to reversible, prescription contraceptive methods posted from 2014 through 2019 (4,434 tweets).

The researchers found that tweets most frequently discussed contraceptive method decision-making (26.7 percent) and side effects (20.5 percent), particularly for long-acting reversible contraceptive methods and the depot medroxyprogesterone acetate shot. For short-acting reversible contraceptives, tweets about logistics of use or adherence were common. Contraceptive consumers accounted for 50.6 percent of posts, with only 6 percent posted by an official news or health care source. Few tweets explicitly requested information (6.2 percent) or provided advice (4.2 percent).

“Platforms like Twitter, now known as X, empower patients to access health information and make decisions about contraception that align with their values,” coauthor Deborah Bartz, M.D., M.P.H., also of Harvard Medical School, said in a statement. “I would love to work with health care professionals on how to craft effective messaging about contraception and deliver those messages via social media to reach as many patients as possible. We know that educational content shared by health professionals is well-received by users. Overwhelmingly, we see that people want to hear from medical professionals on social media.”

Abstract/Full Text

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