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Authors

  1. Malloy, Caeli BSN, RN
  2. Rawl, Susan M. PhD, RN, FAAHB, FAAN
  3. Miller, Wendy R. PhD, RN, CNS, CCRN, FAAN, FAES

Abstract

The purpose of this qualitative study was to explore the challenges adolescents with inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) experience with disease self-management as expressed in an online Instagram social support community. Public Instagram posts between January and December 2019 were manually collected from an online IBD support community. To focus on adolescent self-management needs, only posts from Instagram users who (1) indicated they had inflammatory bowel disease, (2) were 13-24 years old, or were in middle school, high school, or college were collected. Using thematic analysis, authors independently coded and identified emerging themes about self-management. Of 2,700 Instagram posts assessed for eligibility, 83 posts met inclusion criteria. Six major themes about inflammatory bowel disease self-management emerged: Desire for Normalcy, Dietary Changes, Education and Career, Healthcare System, Relationships With Others, and Symptoms and Complications. As the first thematic analysis of Instagram posts in an online inflammatory bowel disease community, results provide a crucial perspective of the concerns of adolescents with inflammatory bowel disease. Self-management challenges were wide-ranging and complex, underscoring the importance of IBD self-management in the adolescent population. Nurses should take a holistic approach to assess self-management challenges and tailor care to the specific needs of adolescents living with inflammatory bowel disease.