Health Union Announces Multiple Poster Presentations at the 40th Annual Meeting and Scientific Sessions of the Society of Behavioral Medicine

Research from Health Union’s Chief Community Officer Amrita Bhowmick, MPH, MBA, and Executive Director of Community Development Sara Hayes, MPH, and co-authors will be shared at the 40th Annual Meeting & Scientific Sessions of the Society of Behavioral Medicine (SBM). The poster sessions featuring research from two of Health Union’s online health communities, and, will be presented at the conference, which takes place on March 6-9, 2019 in Washington, D.C.

Every day, Health Union cultivates online health communities that provide people affected by chronic conditions with information, validation, and support by connecting people who share similar experiences and encouraging open conversation. Coupled with rich data uncovered by first-party surveys across these patient and caregiver communities, Health Union integrates deep qualitative insights and quantitative data to help healthcare industry partners create truly people-centric solutions for chronic health challenges.

At this year’s SBM annual meeting, Health Union’s community development team will present its findings with their research partners, University of Colorado and University of North Carolina Chapel Hill, respectively in four distinct poster sessions, specifically highlighting findings from two of the 20 online health communities Health Union operates–its inaugural,, and its first oncology-specific community,

Continue reading below for brief synopses of the poster presentations and be sure to check out a full list of our recent publications to learn more.

Adult Outcomes of an Under Diagnosed and Often Overlooked Child Migraine Population

March 7, 2019 – 6:30-7:30 pm

Migraine sufferers whose symptoms began in childhood reported worse adult migraine outcomes as well as a longer delay between symptom onset and formal migraine diagnosis. However, evidence did not suggest that diagnosis delay explained the relationship between onset age and adult migraine frequency. These results underscore the need to understand and address factors that may lead to prolonged diagnostic delays and unfavorable long-term outcomes for children experiencing migraines.

Increasing Recruitment to Online Health Communities: Results of the Facebook Advertisement Campaign
March 7, 2019 – 6:30-7:30 pm

With 93 million Americans seeking health information online, websites provide an excellent platform to deliver health education and support. The vast amount of information available online, however, makes effective marketing vital to connecting audiences to online resources. Noting this challenge, Health Union has launched several Facebook advertising campaigns to recruit new members. The objective of this study is to describe and evaluate a series of campaigns designed to increase membership within the online community. These findings demonstrate the feasibility of Facebook advertising as a recruitment tool for online health communities. Combined with additional research that leverages industry and academic partnerships, this approach may help future researchers effectively engage patients to participate in online communities or interventions to enhance health outcomes.

The Headache of Migraine Management: Prevalence and Efficacy of Treatment Type in a National Migraine Population

March 8, 2019 – 6:30-7:30 pm

Contrary to our expectation, although complementary and integrative medicine (CIM) + conventional medicine (CM) was associated with a reduction in number of migraine attacks per month, CIM alone was associated with the greatest reduction. While each treatment type was attributed to a decrease in migraine attacks per month, these findings show promising efficacy for complementary and integrative medicine. Particular benefits of CIM are autonomy in self-management of symptoms and utilization of non-medicinal, cost-effective approaches. As the current study used cross-sectional and ordinal self-report measures, future research is encouraged to assess more objective measures across multiple time points.

To Journal or Not to Journal: Migraine Journal Use Among 2015 Migraine in America Cohort

March 9, 2019 – 10:30-11:30 am

An opportunity exists to encourage migraine journal use among older individuals that suffer from migraines. The results of this study suggest that, while journal type varies by age, older adults show less overall journal use. Provider type and active avoidance of triggers were predictive of any journal use. Specifically, more active avoidance of triggers predicts more journal use across all age groups. Further examination of these and other possible factors influencing journal use should be conducted to better understand barriers to migraine journaling and its effects on patient outcomes.