Quality of information about Physical Activity in Breast Cancer Facebook Pages. A Preliminary Content Review
INTRODUCTION: Adherence to physical activity might be the most important behavior associated with lower mortality and higher quality of life in cancer survivors. Presencial support groups are valuable and have been largely recommended, however, it may not be available for all patients. As an alternative, it is common that many women access Internet and social media resources looking for information, advice, and support in blogs, chat groups, Facebook, and Twitter. Social media seems to have great potential, but nowadays we are not able to evaluate the quality about the information shared on these channels. Facebook is the most widely used social media network. OBJECTIVES: In this study, we focused on posting frequency and quality of exercise and physical activity content in Facebook. We sought to (1) explore the frequency of exercise and physical activity topics posted on specialized Breast Cancer channels and (2) evaluate the quality of these information. METHODS: Only Facebook pages with more than one million likes were utilized for the research. Search was performed on January 23, 2017. An analysis was done of the selected high impact Breast Cancer Facebook Pages, looking for posts with physical activity and exercise theme that were posted through 2016. The posts with the exercise and physical activity theme was separated for the information quality evaluation. Evaluations of information’s quality were performed independently by two sports and exercise experts, with previous breast cancer physical activity experience, using the DISCERN instrument. It consists of a series of 16 questions, each of which are scored on a scale of 1–5; Inter-rater reliability kappa was acceptable at 0.68 (SE 0.03, CI 95% 0.61-0.75). For each Facebook post, scores from the DISCERN questions were summarized and descriptive statistics were performed. This study did not require ethical approval, no information or interaction was need with human subject and all the data was public. RESULTS: Only four Facebook Pages had more than one million likes. Non profit organization is the most common classification of Facebook page type, 26 pages. Only four of them has a health and fitness classification, one is classified in Recreation and wellness and another is a Yoga Studio. Considering the four selected Facebook’s pages, it seems that one of them has not been frequently updated since 2015, for that, there was no publication about exercise and physical activity in 2016. The other three had exactly the same 15 posts about physical activity and exercise. Three posts were withdrawn for the quality evaluation because they were posted previously in the same Facebook Page, resulting in only 12 unprecedented physical activity posts. There were no posts about exercise in five months of the 2016 year The month with more posts was November, representing one third of total with 4 posts citing exercise and physical activity issue. The qualitative evaluation showed that 7 of the posts citing physical activity have low quality achieving less tan 30% of the total score, without scientific basis or clearly information about exercise for breast cancer patients. Most of the posts were just about specific cases of weight loss or women training videos in a motivational aspect, but without any reference or specificity for breast cancer. Just 2 posts were rated with more than 40 points (55% - Moderate), showing potentially important information. PRELIMINARY FINDINGS: This study shows that there is no specialized and focused serious initiative on Facebook looking for improve Breast Cancer educational levels about exercise and motivating them to engage in a physical activity lifestyle. There are very few, and low quality posts about exercise and physical activity for breast cancer showing that less importance tan it need has been given to this topic.