Home Aesthetic Dentistry Social Media – Understanding How it Shapes Oral Health

Social Media – Understanding How it Shapes Oral Health

by adminjay

A recent study conducted by researchers at Boston University, led by Brenda Heaton, PhD, MPH, explored the impact of social media on the oral health of women residing in public housing in Boston, Massachusetts. The study employed a cross-sectional survey involving adult female residents from two public housing developments. The survey discussions covered a range of topics, including sociodemographic factors, oral and general health status, and health-related practices for both the participants and their social connections.

Understanding How Social Media Shapes Oral Health: Study on Women in Public Housing

Using a meticulous analysis of the gathered data, the team devised network-level metrics for each participant, which captured the specific attributes of their social network. To establish connections between these network metrics and aspects such as self-reported oral health, overall health, recent dental service utilization, and existing dental treatment needs, the study employed logistic regression models. These models compared individual-level factors with network-level variables, utilizing the McFadden R2 measure for a comprehensive evaluation.

The findings revealed a substantial improvement in the model’s accuracy when incorporating network-level factors, uncovering strong and independent correlations with the targeted outcomes. For instance, a higher proportion of the social network showing dental treatment requirements was directly associated with an increased likelihood of individuals reporting their current dental treatment needs. Additionally, individuals with a greater number of social connections who had recently undergone dental visits were notably less likely to report not having visited a dentist in the past year.

In conclusion, the study emphasized that the significance of specific network attributes varied based on the particular outcome being studied. This underscores the importance of interventions aiming to enhance oral health within similar population groups, emphasizing the need to consider insights from social networks. This approach could involve tailoring intervention strategies and messages to account for the potential influence of social networks on health behaviors and their resulting outcomes.

The study, “Modeling social network influences on oral health outcomes among women living in public housing,” was published July 2023 in JDR Clinical & Translational Research.

FEATURED IMAGE CREDIT: Merakist on Unsplash.

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