Pattern of Social Media Usage among Bangladeshi Cancer Patients: A Cross-Sectional Study

Samia Amin *

Macquarie University, Australia.

Md. Deluwar Hussen

Dinajpur Medical College Hospital, Bangladesh.

Ajim Uddin

Sylhet M.A.G. Osmani Medical College, Bangladesh.

Samiran Kundu

Dinajpur Medical College Hospital, Bangladesh.

*Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.


Abstract

Background: Social media platforms have become indispensable tools for communication and information exchange, playing an increasingly significant role in the healthcare landscape. Within the realm of cancer care, these platforms provide valuable avenues for accessing information, seeking emotional support, and connecting with peers facing similar challenges. However, despite the growing recognition of social media's potential benefits, its utilization and impact among cancer patients in specific contexts, such as Bangladesh, remain largely unexplored. This cross-sectional study examines social media usage among Bangladeshi cancer patients, investigating engagement frequency, encountered challenges, and sought information types.

Methods: Participants were recruited from private clinical chambers, data collection utilized face-to-face structured questionnaires covering social media usage, support challenges, sought cancer-related information, and trust levels in encountered information. Analysis comprised descriptive and inferential statistics, aiming to inform tailored interventions and support services for this population.

Results: The study included 124 Bangladeshi cancer patients, with nearly equal gender distribution,  the largest proportion was aged 18-35 years, comprising 42% of the participants. Participants had various cancer types, including stomach, breast, lung, and others. Regarding smoking, 42.3% smoked, mostly daily (71.7%) at 10 cigarettes/day (47.2%). Social media usage was common, with 41.1% using it 1-2 hours/day. Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube were popular platforms. Cancer-related social media information was accessed variably, with 16.9% daily, trust levels varied, with 30.6% finding it very trustworthy, and emotional health validation through social media was deemed very important by 51.6% of participants. Challenges included emotional burden (73.4%) and privacy concerns (69.7%). There was no significant link between gender and social media frequency; age and usage duration; smoking and info encounter frequency; but cancer type influenced emotional validation importance (p = 0.019) and higher usage related to privacy concerns (p = 0.011).

Conclusion: These findings highlight the significance of social media platforms in supporting Bangladeshi cancer patients while highlighting the importance of addressing challenges such as information trustworthiness and privacy concerns. Future research endeavors should focus on exploring context-specific interventions to enhance the effectiveness of social media-based support networks in this population.

Keywords: Cancer, social media, Bangladesh


How to Cite

Amin, Samia, Md. Deluwar Hussen, Ajim Uddin, and Samiran Kundu. 2024. “Pattern of Social Media Usage Among Bangladeshi Cancer Patients: A Cross-Sectional Study”. International Research Journal of Oncology 7 (2):170-77. https://journalirjo.com/index.php/IRJO/article/view/157.

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