Information and communication technology use by female residents of public housing
BACKGROUND: Evidence suggests that Internet, mobile, or social media based-interventions may promote obesity-lowering behavior change, which has implications for cancer prevention and control interventions. However, the uptake of communication technologies among low socioeconomic status individuals, who need obesity management strategies most, is unclear.
METHODS: Using the baseline data from a cluster-randomized behavioral intervention trial, we examined the cross-sectional associations of frequency of information and communication technologies (ICT) use among female public housing residents, as well as the variation of ICT use across demographic and health-related variables.
RESULTS: ICT use was common among female public housing residents, with mobile use for calls and texts most prevalent (97% and 84%, respectively). Internet, social media, and health information users tended to be younger compared to non-users. Email, Internet, multimodal, and health information users were more likely to be born in the U.S. and be more highly educated than non-users. Social media and health information users were more likely to be Spanish speakers and people of Hispanic ethnicity compared to non-users, although this was not statistically significant. There were few differences according to obesity or physical activity level.
CONCLUSIONS: Our findings of differential socio-demographics between users vs. non-users suggests that future cancer prevention and control interventions among public housing residents should consider selecting ICT that are aligned with the usage patterns of different groups making up the intended audience.