Social Media for Hepatitis B Awareness: Young Adult and Community Leader Perspectives

Health Promot Pract. 2019 Jul;20(4):573-584. doi: 10.1177/1524839918765438. Epub 2018 Apr 2.


Screening for hepatitis B (HBV) among high-risk young adults can help prevent its transmission and lead to earlier treatment and better long-term health outcomes. Yet few interventions have focused on increasing HBV awareness among young adults. Social media (SM) may be an effective method for disseminating information and engaging young adults about HBV. In this pilot study, qualitative and quantitative methods were applied to collect information on current use and perceptions toward SM through semistructured interviews and focus groups with young Chinese and Vietnamese adults and community leaders from local organizations in Philadelphia. Additionally, survey items were collected during the interviews and focus groups to provide quantitative data. Results from the interviews provided evidence that young adults and local organizations are already using SM and are open to using it to share general health information that is specific to their community. The focus groups suggested that using group pages or chats could be most appropriate for reaching young adults and that credible sources should be used to deliver messages that are tailored to the audience. The findings from this study will support the development of an SM intervention aimed at increasing HBV awareness.

Keywords: Asian; community assessment; health promotion; social marketing/health communication.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Asian Americans
  • China / ethnology
  • Female
  • Focus Groups
  • Health Education / methods*
  • Hepatitis B / diagnosis*
  • Hepatitis B / ethnology*
  • Humans
  • Information Dissemination
  • Interviews as Topic
  • Male
  • Mass Screening
  • Philadelphia / epidemiology
  • Pilot Projects
  • Social Media*
  • Vietnam / ethnology
  • Young Adult