Program

Feb 05, 2013

OVERVIEW

 Just/Us is a Facebook-based health education intervention for 16-25 year-olds aimed at preventing sexual risk behaviors and sexually transmitted infections (STI). An experimental study found impacts on condom use at the end of the 2 month intervention. However, there were no significant impacts on condom use by 6 months. Additionally, no impacts were found on condom self-efficacy, norms, and intentions; number of sex partners; or frequency of being drunk or high during sex.

DESCRIPTION OF PROGRAM

Target population: Youth using Facebook

Just/Us is a social media campaign that uses a Facebook page to promote STI prevention messages. The program’s goal is to prevent increases in sexual risk behaviors. The intervention involves “liking” the Just/Us page, which displays any post made on the Just/Us page to the participant’s Facebook news feed. A total of eight topics were covered, each lasting for one week on the Just/Us page. Topics included communication regarding sexual history, expectations for a healthy relationship, skill building for condom negotiation and condom use, and how to access STI testing. Multiple updates were made to the Just/Us page each day, including relevant video links, quizzes, and discussion threads.

EVALUATION(S) OF PROGRAM

Bull, S. S., Levine, D. K., Black, S. R., Schmiege, S. J., & Santelli, J. (2012). Social media–delivered sexual health intervention: A cluster randomized controlled trial. American Journal of Preventive Medicine43(5), 467-474.

 Evaluated population: The sample included a total of 340 friend networks (n=942 youth) in the intervention group and 312 friend networks (n=636 youth) in the control group. The mean age of the sample was 20 years. The intervention group and control group differed in the percentage of Hispanic (12 vs. 16), African American (28 vs. 45), and Asian youth (28 vs. 7), but had similar percentages of white (30) and other races. Youth in the intervention group were also less likely to have ever had sex at baseline compared to youth in the control group (69 vs. 78 percent).

Approach: Individuals were recruited using online, newspaper ads, or in-person contact. These individuals were then asked to recruit up to three friends. The friends were also asked to recruit up to three friends, who were in turn asked to recruit up to three additional friends. These networks of friends starting from the first recruited individual were randomized as a unit to either be signed up for the Just/Us intervention Facebook page or the control Facebook page for 2 months between October 2010 and May 2011. The control Facebook page posted about current events and did not include any content around sexual health

Data on sexual activity as well as peer norms, intention, self-efficacy, and use of condoms were collected using online self-report surveys at baseline, 2-month follow-up (immediately post-intervention), and 6-month follow-up. The primary outcomes examined were condom use at last sex experience and proportion of sex acts in the past 60 days protected by a condom. At the 2-month assessment, 30 percent of participants were lost to follow up. At the 6-month assessment, 40 percent of the control group and 55 percent of the intervention group were lost to follow up. Analyses accounted for the fact that the participants were grouped into networks of youth that knew one another.

Results: Youth in the intervention group were more likely than those in the control group to have used a condom the last time they had sex at the 2-month follow-up, but this impact was not sustained at 6 months. The intervention and control group did not differ significantly at each time point for proportion of sex acts in the past 60 days protected by a condom, but there was an impact on the changes that occurred over time. Between baseline and the 2-month follow-up, the proportion of protected sex acts significantly decreased in the control group while it remained the same in the intervention group (effect size = 0.18); however, there were no significant differences in changes over time between the 2-month and 6-month follow-up. There was no impact on condom self-efficacy, norms, or intentions. There was also no impact on number of sex partners in the past 2 months or the frequency that participants reported being drunk or high during their last sexual experience. Participant demographics did not moderate the impact of the intervention.

SOURCES FOR MORE INFORMATION

References

Bull, S. S., Levine, D. K., Black, S. R., Schmiege, S. J., & Santelli, J. (2012). Social media–delivered sexual health intervention: A cluster randomized controlled trial. American Journal of Preventive Medicine43(5), 467-474.

Contact information

Sheana S. Bull, PhD, MPH

Department of Community and Behavioral Health

School of Public Health

University of Colorado

Mail Stop B-119

Aurora, CO 80045-0508

sheana.bull@ucdenver.edu

KEYWORDS: Youth (16+), Males and Females (Co-ed), Computer-based, Condom Use and Contraception

Program information last updated on 2/5/13

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