Adolescent and parent use of new technologies for health communication: a study in an urban Latino community

Main Article Content

Arlene Smaldone (1*), Melissa S. Stockwell (2), Jennel C. Osborne (3), Yamnia Cortes (4), ElShadey Bekele (5), Nancy S. Green (6)

1 School of Nursing, Columbia University Medical Center, New York, NY, United States.
2 Department of Pediatrics, Department of Population and Family Health, Columbia University Medical Center, New York, NY; New York-Presbyterian Hospital, New York, NY, United States.
3 School of Nursing, Columbia University Medical Center, New York, NY, United States.
4 School of Nursing, Columbia University Medical Center, New York, NY, United States.
5 Department of Pediatrics, Columbia University Medical Center, New York, NY, United States.
6 Department of Pediatrics, Columbia University Medical Center, New York, NY, United States.
(*) Corresponding Author:
Arlene Smaldone
ams130@columbia.edu

Abstract

Background. Mobile communication technologies provide novel opportunities to support clinic-based health initiatives. Adoption of technologies for daily use and for health communication can differ between communities, depending upon demographic and cultural characteristics.
Design and methods. A survey was administered in adolescent primary care and subspecialty clinics to assess parent-adolescent preferences in use of mobile technologies and social media to support provider-patient communication in an urban Latino community.
Results. Of 130 respondents (65 parent-adolescent pairs), approximately half frequently sent and received text messages but lacked agreement regarding the other’s text messaging use. In contrast, adolescents only rarely used email compared to parents (15.4% versus 37.5%, P=0.006). Of social media, FacebookTM/MySpaceTM was most frequently used by parents and youth (60% and 55.4%, P=0.59); however, most lacked interest in using social media for health communication. Parents reported more interest than adolescents in receiving email (73.4% versus 35.9%, P<0.001) and text messages (58.5% versus 33.9%, P=0.005) for health, but had more concerns about privacy issues (26.2% versus 9.2%, P=0.01). Respondents who were American born (aOR 5.7, 95%CI 1.2-28.5) or regularly used Instant Messaging or FacebookTM/MySpaceTM (aOR 4.6, 95%CI 1.4-14.7) were more likely to be interested in using social media for health communication.
Conclusions. These findings underscore the importance of targeted assessment for planning the utilization of communication technologies and social media in clinical care or research for underserved youth.

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How to Cite
Smaldone, A., Stockwell, M., Osborne, J., Cortes, Y., Bekele, E., & Green, N. (2015). Adolescent and parent use of new technologies for health communication: a study in an urban Latino community. Journal of Public Health Research, 4(1). https://doi.org/10.4081/jphr.2015.376