The use of instagram for health promotion and prevention: a scoping review
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Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore Section of Hygiene, Department of Life Sciences and Public Health, Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore, Rome, Italy Italy
Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore
Publication date: 2023-04-26
Popul. Med. 2023;5(Supplement):A1638
Background & Objective:
Over the past 50 years, our knowledge about the impact of behaviors and lifestyles on health has evolved significantly. Strategies that encourage individuals to engage in healthy behaviors for their own health and the health of others are needed today, also considering that the abilities to access, understand and use health information has significantly changed. The aim of this scoping review is to describe how one of the most frequently used social network such as Instagram is used in communicating health promotion and prevention information. It also aims to identify what are the main factors that determine the dissemination of health information among users and its effects on health literacy and awareness.

The present scoping review was performed following the PRISMA-ScR Checklist. Thereby searching on 3 databases: PubMed, ISI Web of Science, Scopus. Articles published up to November 2022 that investigated the use of Instagram social media, for public health promotion and prevention, were included.

A total of 2,452 articles were screened, finally 52 were included. We conducted a preliminary investigation dividing the included articles into 3 categories and from this first analysis, we can report that the articles were divided into the following percentages: Public Health Prevention and Health Promotion Interventions 25%, Specific Clinical Conditions 23% and Health Risk Factors 52%. Further investigations will be carried out, concerning the type of communication (stories, reels, posts, etc.) and how the communication influenced: dissemination of information, interest of users, awareness of users, health literacy and empowerment users.

Instagram and social networks are becoming increasingly relevant in public health communications, so it is necessary to consider this tool as a communication system in health promotion and prevention programmes, due to its ability to provide the correct information to the population, removing the physical barriers of traditional programmes.

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