Interventions using social networking sites to promote contraception in women of reproductive age

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Background Social networking sites (SNSs) have great potential as a platform for public health interventions to address the unmet need for contraception. Objectives To evaluate the effectiveness of interventions using SNSs to promote the uptake of and adherence to contraception in reproductiveage women. Search methods We searched CENTRAL, MEDLINE, Embase, and six other databases on January 2018. We also searched Google Scholar, key conference proceedings, checked the reference lists of included studies, and contacted study authors to identify additional studies. Selection criteria We considered randomised controlled trials (RCTs) and non-randomised interventional studies (NRS) in women of reproductive age. SNSs requiring a social profile within a bounded or restricted-access system of shared connections were included. We also included trials that utilised SNSs only or as an adjunct to an intervention. Studies had to have a follow-up outcome assessment of at least three months. Data collection and analysis Two authors independently screened titles, abstracts and full-text studies, and extracted data from included studies. A third author was assigned to arbitrate areas of disagreement. Authors assessed risk of bias according to the Cochrane Handbook for Systematic Reviews of Interventions.We were unable to conduct a meta-analysis due to the heterogeneity of the study designs and outcome measures. Main results Of the 461 unique records found, only two studies met our inclusion criteria. Both studies were conducted in the USA and were at high risk of bias. One RCT included 2284 women exposed to a web-based SNS or nothing. The groups were no different post intervention in their self-reported consistency of contraceptive use or knowledge of the relative effectiveness of different methods. There was a small but significant increase in the use of more effective methods (long-acting reversible methods) at 12 months' follow-up. The second study, a cluster RCT with 1578 women, used a closed Facebook page showing sexual health content compared to amodified Facebook news page that avoided sexual health content. They found no differences in the use of condoms at last act of sexual intercourse at six months or the intention to use condoms between the intervention and control groups. Authors' conclusions Despite the prevalence of SNSs, we found little scientific evidence to support the use of SNSs to improve contraceptive use or adherence among women.




Jawad, A., Jawad, I., & Alwan, N. A. (2019, March 1). Interventions using social networking sites to promote contraception in women of reproductive age. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews. John Wiley and Sons Ltd.

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