Development and Testing of a Social Networking Site (SNS)-Based Obesity Prevention Program for Korean American Adolescents

Posted on Friday, October 18, 2013

Figure 1: Ms. Park revisiting UMBC

Bu Kyung Park, MSN, RN PhD Student Nursing Informatics School of Nursing University of Maryland

Date/Time: Friday, November 1, 12 pm Location: ITE 456, UMBC

Abstract: In this presentation, Ms. Park will introduce her dissertation project entitled "Healthy Teens," which is supported by the Sigma Theta Tau International, Pi Chapter.

The prevalence of adolescent obesity has more than tripled during the past three decades. Adolescent obesity increases risk for a number of comorbidities and creates economic burden for families and the nation. Given that using social networking sites (SNSs) has become ingrained in adolescents' daily life, obesity prevention education via SNSs for lifestyle modification can be an innovative and promising approach.

Although current obesity prevalence among Korean American (KA) adolescents is relatively lower than the national average, acculturation to American lifestyle increases the risk of obesity for the second and the third generations of KA immigrants compared to the first generation immigrants. Therefore, obesity prevention education tailored for KA adolescent lifestyle is important. The purposes of this proposed study are to (1) develop a social cognitive theory-based "Healthy Teens" program on Facebook for KA adolescent obesity prevention, which includes physical activity and healthy eating modules, and (2) conduct usability testing of the "Healthy Teens" program for a future randomized controlled trial. Usability testing will be conducted using two usability assessment methods: (1) heuristic evaluation by three experts, which will identify usability problems based on Nielsen's heuristics; and (2) user testing, which aims to assess usual users' performance on the Healthy Teens program using observation, a think-aloud method, and a questionnaire by 20 KA adolescents (13-17 years old). Using a convenience sampling method, participants will be recruited from two Korean language schools in Maryland. Both qualitative and quantitative data will be collected and analyzed. The expected impact of this proposed study is two-fold. First, this proposed study will develop an innovative Facebook-based KA adolescent obesity prevention program that will be used for a future larger scale study. Second, the findings will provide important ground work on how to use an SNS to develop a structured, theory-based health education program for adolescents and contribute to other investigators' research that uses similar technologies.

Brief Bio: Ms. Bu Kyung Park is a PhD student in School of Nursing at the University of Maryland. Her research focuses on the use of Web-based interventions to prevent obesity among children and adolescent. She has participated in various studies (conducted by her advisor, Dr. Eun-Shim Nahm) as a research assistant including mHealth, qualitative, and usability studies as well as randomized controlled trials. During her years in the PhD program, she has found advantages to adapting SNSs for adolescent health research. She recently published "A systematic review of social networking sites: innovative platforms for health research targeting adolescents and young adults" in the Journal of Nursing Scholarship based on extensive review of the literature.

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