Supervisor: Shannon Scott
Project: Evaluating a social media campaign for a parent educational video on childhood airway swelling
Bachelor of Science in Nursing Honours
What was it like to continue your research project when much of the country was in a lockdown or faced major restrictions?
A lot of the research I conducted could be done on a computer, so the actual research was not heavily restricted by COVID-19. However, because I was not seeing everyone on the research team face to face every day it took longer to receive feedback and sometimes it was harder to ask and explain questions without being able to talk in person. This was alleviated in part through online meetings.
What's been the best part of your experience so far?
Because I have learned and experienced so much throughout this studentship, it is challenging to pick one part that was the best. I have really enjoyed being able to see the impact social media can have on children's health. Social media is a big part of my everyday life and sometimes has a negative connotation; however, conducting this research helped me see that social media can be used to disseminate research-based knowledge tools to larger audiences and actively engage parents.
What interested you in the summer studentship program?
I was interested in this summer studentship program because I am passionate about child health. WCHRI strongly focuses on supporting research in child health and has a vast community of researchers focusing on improving child health. I believed that this program would support me in conducting research and building relationships with other researchers that would ultimately allow me to contribute to bettering children's health.
How has your studentship helped you towards your career aspirations?
I have gained valuable research experience, as well as time management and communication skills. These skills and experiences will allow me to become a stronger researcher and prepare me for success in my future educational and professional life.
What has the support from WCHRI and the Stollery Children's Hospital Foundation meant to you?
I am truly honoured to have received this summer studentship. Support from WCHRI through the Stollery Children's Hospital Foundation, has allowed me to dedicate my full attention to conducting this research, so I had to worry less about supporting myself through a part time job. This provided me more time to gain valuable research experience and further develop my research skills. I believe I will be able to better achieve my research and career goals because of this support.
Social media is recognized as an important tool for spreading new knowledge and resources to wide audiences. However, it is well acknowledged that using social media effectively requires substantial resources and time. In fall 2019, ECHO (translating Evidence in Child Health to enhance Outcomes) research developed a 12 week long social media campaign to spread an educational video for parents about pediatric bronchiolitis to the general public. Bronchiolitis is caused by a viral infection in the lungs that causes swelling of the airway with thick mucus, sometimes making it difficult for a child to breathe.
This campaign included planned social media posts with targeted hashtags and links with planned stakeholders to strategically increase awareness and reach of the bronchiolitis video across Canada. The purpose of this project is to evaluate the effectiveness of the social media campaign, make recommendations for future social media campaigns, and to use the findings to design future social media campaigns. Prior to beginning the campaign, baseline measures were collected for the average website visits per month, number of Twitter followers, impressions, profile visits, and number of Facebook page likes and post reach (number of people who saw a post) for ECHO accounts. We will be collecting the number of bronchiolitis video views on YouTube, characteristics of the viewers, and method of finding the video. We will also assess the web traffic on the parent tool section on the ECHO website, number of new Twitter followers, number of tweet impressions and Twitter profile visits per month, and number of Facebook page likes. Computer software will be used to manage the data and assess the changes over time. This project will provide urgently needed information to guide future social media campaigns to spread future parent education tools in the ECHO research program, as well as other research programs to a wide audience.