#Crcfree: Using social media to reduce colorectal cancer risk in rural adults

Kaitlin Voigts Key, Adebola Adegboyega, Heather Bush, Mollie E. Aleshire, Omar A. Contreras, Jennifer Hatcher

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Scopus citations


Objectives: In this study, we pilot-tested #CRCFree, a Facebook-based intervention aimed at reducing colorectal cancer (CRC) risk in rural Appalachian adults at risk for CRC. Methods: Participants were 56 rural Appalachian adults aged > 50 years. Daily #CRCFree Facebook posts addressed diet, physical activity, and CRC screening. Participants' sociodemographics, diet, body mass index, physical activity, and CRC screening status were measured pre- A nd post-intervention. The Healthy Eating Index (HEI) and the Dietary Inflammatory Index (DII) assessed dietary patterns. Facebook engagement was measured throughout the intervention. A post-intervention focus group evaluated intervention acceptability. Results: Participants were Caucasian, aged 58 ± 6 years, and predominantly female (66%). Post-intervention, HEI scores increased (49.9 ± 9.9 vs 58.6 ± 12.1, p = <.001), and DII scores decreased from baseline (2.8 ± 1.1 vs 1.6 ± 1.7, p = .002). There was no change in physical activity, BMI, or CRC screening status. Focus group participants found the intervention to be educational and motivating. Conclusions: These results provide preliminary evidence to support using Facebook to address CRC risk in this population. Participants were responsive to this intervention, and Facebook is a novel and accessible modality for health promotion.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)353-363
Number of pages11
JournalAmerican Journal of Health Behavior
Issue number3
StatePublished - May 2020

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2020 PNG Publications. All rights reserved.


  • Appalachia
  • Behavioral risk factors
  • Colorectal cancer
  • Facebook
  • Rural health

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health(social science)
  • Social Psychology
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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