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Graduate Defense: Matea Bidaburu
March 6 @ 12:30 pm - 1:30 pm MST
Title: Exploring Information and Support Needs Through TikTok for People With Polycystic Ovary Syndrome
Program: Master of Public Health
Advisor: Dr. Ellen Schafer, Public and Population Health
Committee Members: Dr. Megan Smith, Public and Population Health; and Dr. Vinita Sharma, Public and Population Health
Background: Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) is the leading hormone/endocrine disorder among women of reproductive age with an estimated 116 million women affected worldwide. This heterogeneous disorder might stop or dysregulate menstruation, cause acne and unwanted facial hair, and increase the risk of diabetes and high blood pressure, all of which could impact daily life. Given the Transactional Model of Stress and Coping, we understand PCOS diagnosis and treatment may cause uncertainty in people’s lives. People may cope with uncertainty through information seeking and social support.
Purpose: The purpose of this study was to understand the information and support shared and received about PCOS on the social media platform, TikTok.
Methods: A quantitative cross-sectional analysis was conducted between October 12 and October 21, 2022. Video content was grouped in main topics determined by content creator, PCOS-related symptoms, and theoretical considerations and analyzed to determine most popular content based on likes, comments, and views.
Results: Key findings included hirsutism and menstruation were the most shared and sought out topics for people with PCOS. The most common content creator was female within the age range of 25 to 45 years old telling a personal experience. The most common video content was information being shared. Additionally, the highest proportion of videos that mentioned patient dissatisfaction those videos included a message about weight (32.3%), menstruation (22.6%) or infertility/pregnancy (22.6%).
Conclusion: People with PCOS, health care professionals, and family/friends of those with PCOS utilize TikTok to share and receive information and support about PCOS. To improve one’s well-being, especially when dealing with the uncertainty of PCOS, accurate anticipatory guidance, positive social support, and access to correct information are vital to mediate the relationship between stressors and healthful outcomes. There is potential to improve the satisfaction rates of patients with their physicians; we can start by tailoring conversations towards the most common topics people with PCOS are interested in.