Telemed J E Health. 2022 Sep 16. doi: 10.1089/tmj.2022.0164. Online ahead of print.
Introduction: The use of online health communities (OHCs) for health information, disease self-management, and social support increased during the COVID-19 pandemic. However, there are limited data on the willingness of African American women (AAW) to participate in OHCs. Materials and Methods: A sample of 985 AAW completed an online survey. Multinomial logistic regression examined associations between three age groups (18-29, 30-50, and 51+ years) and 10 motivators and 10 barriers to participating in OHCs. Women 51+ years were the referent group. Results: Women 51+ years were more likely to have been diagnosed with obesity and hypertension than the other groups (p < 0.01), but less likely to be diagnosed with a mental health condition than the other groups (p < 0.01). The top 2 motivators were to learn about a disease/condition (70%) and to prevent a disease/condition (64%). There were no significant differences with these variables. However, compared with women 18-29 years of age, women 51+ years were more likely to be motivated to manage an illness (p < 0.001), and more likely than the other groups to be motivated to support others (p = 0.011). The top 2 barriers were being too busy (53%) and privacy concerns (45%). Compared with women in the two other groups, women 51+ years were more concerned about privacy (p < 0.001). Discussion: AAW expressed a willingness to participate in OHCs. Willingness to participate in OHCs will vary by the topic and disease/condition and the age group. Conclusions: Opportunities exist to recruit AAW in age-specific OHCs.
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