• A systematic review of the engagement with social media–delivered interventions for improving health outcomes among sexual and gender minorities

      Escobar-Viera, César G.; Melcher, Eleanna M.; Miller, Rebekah S.; Whitfield, Darren L.; Jacobson-López, Daniel; Gordon, Jacob D.; Ballard, Adrian J.; Rollman, Bruce L.; Pagoto, Sherry (Elsevier Inc., 2021-09-01)
      Background: Sexual and gender minority (SGM) persons face a number of physical and mental health disparities closely linked to discrimination, social stigma, and victimization. Despite the acceptability and increasing number of digital health interventions focused on improving health outcomes among SGM people, there is a lack of reviews summarizing whether and how researchers assess engagement with social media–delivered health interventions for this group. Objective: The objective of this systematic review was to synthesize and critique the evidence on evaluation of engagement with social media–delivered interventions for improving health outcomes among SGM persons. Methods: We conducted a literature search for studies published between January 2003 and June 2020 using 4 electronic databases. Articles were included if they were peer-reviewed, in English language, assessed engagement with a social media–delivered health intervention for improving health outcomes among sexual and gender minorities. A minimum of two authors independently extracted data from each study using an a priori developed abstraction form. We assessed quality of data reporting using the CONSORT extension for pilot and feasibility studies and CONSORT statement parallel group randomized trials. Results: We included 18 articles in the review; 15 were feasibility studies and 3 were efficacy or effectiveness randomized trials. The quality of data reporting varied considerably. The vast majority of articles focused on improving HIV-related outcomes among men who have sex with men. Only three studies recruited cisgender women and/or transgender persons. We found heterogeneity in how engagement was defined and assessed. Intervention usage from social media data was the most frequently used engagement measure. Conclusion: In addition to the heterogeneity in defining and assessing engagement, we found that the focus of assessment was often on measures of intervention usage only. More purposeful recruitment is needed to learn about whether, how, and why different SGM groups engage with social media-interventions. This leaves significant room for future research to expand evaluation criteria for cognitive and emotional aspects of intervention engagement in order to develop effective and tailored social media-delivered interventions for SGM people. Our findings also support the need for developing and testing social media-delivered interventions that focus on improving mental health and outcomes related to chronic health conditions among SGM persons. © 2021 The Authors