Analysis of instagram profiles found through inscriptions on the walls of the In – Patient Adolescent Psychiatry Unit at the University Hospital in Kraków, Poland
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Department of Adult, Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, The University Hospital in Krakow, Poland
J. Dietl Specialist Hospital, Krakow, Poland
Child and Adolescent Psychiatry Department, Jagiellonian University Medical College, Krakow, Poland
Submission date: 2020-06-14
Final revision date: 2020-10-18
Acceptance date: 2020-10-18
Online publication date: 2020-12-21
Publication date: 2020-12-21
Corresponding author
Katarzyna Urbanek-Matusiak   

Department of Adult, Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, The University Hospital in Krakow, Poland
Arch Psych Psych 2020;22(4):48-57
Aim of the study:
Adolescents are increasingly active in social media: 72% use Instagram while as many as a quarter suffer from at least one mental disorder, Internet users among them. A number of studies confirming the mutual influence of social media and mental health have been conducted but there is a shortage of data on the Internet activity of people suffering from mental disorders. This study aims at extending the existing knowledge by analyzing Instagram accounts of adolescent psychiatric in-patients.

Subject or material and methods:
We analyzed the contents of Instagram accounts, links to 36 of which were hidden in graffiti drawn by patients on the walls of an inpatient adolescent psychiatric ward. After excluding inactive and nonexistent accounts, 21 addresses were analyzed with respect to the number and content of published posts and comments left under them.

90% of the accounts belonged to girls. 52% revealed the owner’s identity. The posts were mainly depressive, which correlated with the psychopathology of the patients. The comments differed in number and in character depending on the content of the post: replies to posts related to body image were mainly supportive, while comments on posts related to self-harm mainly expressed sympathy.

Most of the analyzed Instagram posts are related to the typical psychopathology of the patients hospitalized on our ward. In addition, it is also similar to negative effects that social media may have on mental health.

The association found in the study show that conducting further research on social media use by psychiatric patients may be clinically important.

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