Lisabeth V. Scalzi, MD, MS, Pennsylvania State University Milton S. Hershey Medical Center

“Impact of Social Media and Online Support of Self-Management in Adolescents with SLE”

2013 Michael Jon Barlin Pediatric Lupus Research Program

This is the Lucy Vodden Research Grant Award, which was established in memory of Lucy Vodden by the Lupus Foundation of America and Julian Lennon. This grant is made possible in part by funds provided by the Philadelphia Tri-State Chapter of the Lupus Foundation of America.

Adolescents with chronic conditions are faced with many challenges, one of which is self-management of their disease. Mastering self-management is a crucial process required to successfully transition to independent, adult care and to prevent worsening of disease severity. Dr. Scalzi and her team will enroll adolescent participants with lupus in an 8-week, web-based educational program utilizing Facebook, an online social media network, for interpersonal support. Those in the active group will participate in the “Facing Lupus Together” Facebook community, while others in the control group will only have access to the weekly educational modules. The researchers will examine the participants’ ability to self-manage before and after the 8-week program, and again 6 months after the completion of the program. The researchers predict that those who participate in the Facebook community will have a greater degree of improvement in their self-management abilities.