Characterizing Awareness of Schizophrenia Among Facebook Users by Leveraging Facebook Advertisement Estimates

This is interesting research - perhaps a way to build awareness so that people get earlier treatment:

Schizophrenia - Major impediments to appropriate and timely care include misconceptions, high levels of stigma, and lack of public awareness. Facebook offers novel opportunities to understand public awareness and information access related to schizophrenia, and thus can complement survey-based approaches to assessing awareness that are limited in scale, robustness, and temporal and demographic granularity.

Overall, 1.03% of Facebook users in the United States have a schizophrenia-related interest. The schizophrenia awareness index (SAI) is higher for females than for males, and it is highest for the people who are aged 25-44 years. The awareness index drops for higher education levels (0.68 for MA or PhD vs 1.92 for no high school degree, P<.001), and Hispanics have the highest level of interest (1.57 vs 1.03 for all ethnic affinities, P<.001).

A regression model fit to predict a group’s interest level achieves an adjusted R2=0.55. We also observe a positive association between our SAI and mental health services (or institutions) per 100,000 residents in a US state (Pearson r=.238, P<.001), but a negative association with the state-level human development index (HDI) in United States

Facebook’s advertising platform can be used to construct a plausible index of population-scale schizophrenia awareness. However, only estimates of awareness can be obtained, and the index provides no information on the quality of the information users receive online.