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Shiyi Zan: Leveraging social media for adolescent and young adult healthcare

Shiyi Zan discusses how social media offers an exciting new medium that can be leveraged to communicate with AYAs about key health issues and risk behaviors that affect their well-being and development. By its intended purpose, social media requires users to actively generate and share content; understanding how to exploit the influence of online social networks to normalize positive health behaviors and deliver timely education and support is key to improving health care delivery to the AYA population. To date, the majority of studies within this field have been preliminary and limited in their methodologies, and mostly center around evaluating how AYAs use social media and its implications for their health. Although these explorations are essential to building effective interventions, we hope that future investigations will leverage the ever-evolving ways that AYAs use social media to facilitate health behavior change and engage them in their own care.

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