Analyzing Twitter as a Platform for Alzheimer-Related Dementia Awareness: Thematic Analyses of Tweets.
ABSTRACT: BACKGROUND:Dementia is a prevalent disorder among adults and often subjects an individual and his or her family. Social media websites may serve as a platform to raise awareness for dementia and allow researchers to explore health-related data. OBJECTIVE:The objective of this study was to utilize Twitter, a social media website, to examine the content and location of tweets containing the keyword "dementia" to better understand the reasons why individuals discuss dementia. We adopted an approach that analyzed user location, user category, and tweet content subcategories to classify large publicly available datasets. METHODS:A total of 398 tweets were collected using the Twitter search application programming interface with the keyword "dementia," circulated between January and February 2018. Twitter users were categorized into 4 categories: general public, health care field, advocacy organization, and public broadcasting. Tweets posted by "general public" users were further subcategorized into 5 categories: mental health advocate, affected persons, stigmatization, marketing, and other. Placement into the categories was done through thematic analysis. RESULTS:A total of 398 tweets were written by 359 different screen names from 28 different countries. The largest number of Twitter users were from the United States and the United Kingdom. Within the United States, the largest number of users were from California and Texas. The majority (281/398, 70.6%) of Twitter users were categorized into the "general public" category. Content analysis of tweets from the "general public" category revealed stigmatization (113/281, 40.2%) and mental health advocacy (102/281, 36.3%) as the most common themes. Among tweets from California and Texas, California had more stigmatization tweets, while Texas had more mental health advocacy tweets. CONCLUSIONS:Themes from the content of tweets highlight the mixture of the political climate and the supportive network present on Twitter. The ability to use Twitter to combat stigma and raise awareness of mental health indicates the benefits that can potentially be facilitated via the platform, but negative stigmatizing tweets may interfere with the effectiveness of this social support.
Project description:<h4>Objective</h4>To examine public and media response to the draft (October 2011) and finalised (May 2012) recommendations of the United States Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) against prostate-specific antigen (PSA) testing via Twitter, a popular social network with over 200 million active users.<h4>Materials and methods</h4>We used a mixed-methods design to analyse posts on Twitter, known as 'tweets'. Using the search term 'prostate cancer', we archived tweets in the 24-h periods following the release of both the draft and the finalised USPSTF recommendations. We recorded tweet rate per h and developed a coding system to assess the type of user and sentiment expressed in tweets and linked articles.<h4>Results</h4>After the draft and finalised USPSTF recommendations were released, 2042 and 5357 tweets focused on the USPSTF report, respectively. The tweet rate nearly doubled within 2 h of both announcements. Fewer than 10% of tweets expressed an opinion about screening, and the majority of these were pro-screening during both periods. By contrast, anti-screening articles were tweeted more frequently in both the draft and finalised study periods. Between the draft and the finalised recommendations, the proportion of anti-screening tweets and anti-screening article links increased (P = 0.03 and P < 0.01, respectively).<h4>Conclusions</h4>There was increased Twitter activity surrounding the USPSTF draft and finalised recommendations. The percentage of anti-screening tweets and articles appeared to increase, perhaps due to the interval public comment period. Despite this, most tweets did not express an opinion, suggesting a missed opportunity in this important arena for advocacy.
Project description:Twitter is a social media platform for online message sharing. The aim of this study is to evaluate the effectiveness of using Twitter to search for people who got lost due to dementia. The online messages on Twitter, i.e., tweets, were collected through an Application Programming Interface. Contents of the tweets were analysed. The personal characteristics, features of tweets and types of Twitter users were collected to investigate their associations with whether a person can be found within a month. Logistic regression was used to identify the features that were useful in finding the missing people. Results showed that the young age of the persons with dementia who got lost, having tweets posted by police departments, and having tweets with photos can increase the chance of being found. Social media is reshaping the human communication pathway, which may lead to future needs on a new patient-care model.
Project description:Social media are being increasingly used for health promotion, yet the landscape of users, messages and interactions in such fora is poorly understood. Studies of social media and diabetes have focused mostly on patients, or public agencies addressing it, but have not looked broadly at all of the participants or the diversity of content they contribute. We study Twitter conversations about diabetes through the systematic analysis of 2.5 million tweets collected over 8 months and the interactions between their authors. We address three questions. (1) What themes arise in these tweets? (2) Who are the most influential users? (3) Which type of users contribute to which themes? We answer these questions using a mixed-methods approach, integrating techniques from anthropology, network science and information retrieval such as thematic coding, temporal network analysis and community and topic detection. Diabetes-related tweets fall within broad thematic groups: health information, news, social interaction and commercial. At the same time, humorous messages and references to popular culture appear consistently, more than any other type of tweet. We classify authors according to their temporal 'hub' and 'authority' scores. Whereas the hub landscape is diffuse and fluid over time, top authorities are highly persistent across time and comprise bloggers, advocacy groups and NGOs related to diabetes, as well as for-profit entities without specific diabetes expertise. Top authorities fall into seven interest communities as derived from their Twitter follower network. Our findings have implications for public health professionals and policy makers who seek to use social media as an engagement tool and to inform policy design.
Project description:Importance:As society is increasingly becoming more networked, researchers are beginning to explore how social media can be used to study person-to-person communication about health and health care use. Twitter is an online messaging platform used by more than 300 million people who have generated several billion Tweets, yet little work has focused on the potential applications of these data for studying public attitudes and behaviors associated with cardiovascular health. Objective:To describe the volume and content of Tweets associated with cardiovascular disease as well as the characteristics of Twitter users. Design, Setting, and Participants:We used Twitter to access a random sample of approximately 10 billion English-language Tweets originating from US counties from July 23, 2009, to February 5, 2015, associated with cardiovascular disease. We characterized each Tweet relative to estimated user demographics. A random subset of 2500 Tweets was hand-coded for content and modifiers. Main Outcomes and Measures:The volume of Tweets about cardiovascular disease and the content of these Tweets. Results:Of 550?338 Tweets associated with cardiovascular disease, the terms diabetes (n?=?239?989) and myocardial infarction (n?=?269?907) were used more frequently than heart failure (n?=?9414). Users who Tweeted about cardiovascular disease were more likely to be older than the general population of Twitter users (mean age, 28.7 vs 25.4 years; P?<?.01) and less likely to be male (59?082 of 124?896 [47.3%] vs 8433 of 17?270 [48.8%]; P?<?.01). Most Tweets (2338 of 2500 [93.5%]) were associated with a health topic; common themes of Tweets included risk factors (1048 of 2500 [41.9%]), awareness (585 of 2500 [23.4%]), and management (541 of 2500 [21.6%]) of cardiovascular disease. Conclusions and Relevance:Twitter offers promise for studying public communication about cardiovascular disease.
Project description:<h4>Aim of the study</h4>Twitter has over 500 million subscribers but little is known about how it is used to communicate health information. We sought to characterize how Twitter users seek and share information related to cardiac arrest, a time-sensitive cardiovascular condition where initial treatment often relies on public knowledge and response.<h4>Methods</h4>Tweets published April-May 2011 with keywords cardiac arrest, CPR, AED, resuscitation, heart arrest, sudden death and defib were identified. Tweets were characterized by content, dissemination, and temporal trends. Tweet authors were further characterized by: self-identified background, tweet volume, and followers.<h4>Results</h4>Of 62,163 tweets (15,324, 25%) included resuscitation/cardiac arrest-specific information. These tweets referenced specific cardiac arrest events (1130, 7%), CPR performance or AED use (6896, 44%), resuscitation-related education, research, or news media (7449, 48%), or specific questions about cardiac arrest/resuscitation (270, 2%). Regarding dissemination (1980, 13%) of messages were retweeted. Resuscitation specific tweets primarily occurred on weekdays. Most users (10,282, 93%) contributed three or fewer tweets during the study time frame. Users with more than 15 resuscitation-specific tweets in the study time frame had a mean 1787 followers and most self-identified as having a healthcare affiliation.<h4>Conclusion</h4>Despite a large volume of tweets, Twitter can be filtered to identify public knowledge and information seeking and sharing about cardiac arrest. To better engage via social media, healthcare providers can distil tweets by user, content, temporal trends, and message dissemination. Further understanding of information shared by the public in this forum could suggest new approaches for improving resuscitation related education.
Project description:BACKGROUND:It is crucial that world leaders mount effective public health measures in response to COVID-19. Twitter may represent a powerful tool to help achieve this. Here, we explore the role of Twitter as used by Group of Seven (G7) world leaders in response to COVID-19. METHODS:This was a qualitative study with content analysis. Inclusion criteria were as follows: viral tweets from G7 world leaders, attracting a minimum of 500 'likes'; keywords 'COVID-19' or 'coronavirus'; search dates 17 November 2019 to 17 March 2020. We performed content analysis to categorize tweets into appropriate themes and analyzed associated Twitter data. RESULTS:Eight out of nine (88.9%) G7 world leaders had verified and active Twitter accounts, with a total following of 85.7 million users. Out of a total 203 viral tweets, 166 (82.8%) were classified as 'Informative', of which 48 (28.6%) had weblinks to government-based sources, while 19 (9.4%) were 'Morale-boosting' and 14 (6.9%) were 'Political'. Numbers of followers and viral tweets were not strictly related. CONCLUSIONS:Twitter may represent a powerful tool for world leaders to rapidly communicate public health information with citizens. We would urge general caution when using Twitter for health information, with a preference for tweets containing official government-based information sources.
Project description:This study focuses on stigma communication about COVID-19 on Twitter in the early stage of the outbreak, given the lack of information and rapid global expansion of new cases during this period. Guided by the model of stigma communication, we examine four types of message content, namely mark, group labeling, responsibility, and peril, that are instrumental in forming stigma beliefs and sharing stigma messages. We also explore whether the presence of misinformation and conspiracy theories in COVID-19-related tweets is associated with the presence of COVID-19 stigma content. A total of 155,353 unique COVID-19-related tweets posted between December 31, 2019, and March 13, 2020, were identified, from which 7000 tweets were randomly selected for manual coding. Results showed that the peril of COVID-19 was mentioned the most often, followed by mark, responsibility, and group labeling content. Tweets with conspiracy theories were more likely to include group labeling and responsibility information, but less likely to mention COVID-19 peril. Public health agencies should be aware of the unintentional stigmatization of COVID-19 in public health messages and the urgency to engage and educate the public about the facts of COVID-19.
Project description:BACKGROUND:Although chemotherapy was first introduced for the treatment of cancer more than 60 years ago, the public understanding and acceptance of chemotherapy is still debatable. To the best of our knowledge, no study has assessed the conversations and misconceptions about chemotherapy as a treatment for cancer on social media platforms among the Arabic-speaking populations. OBJECTIVE:The aim of this study was to assess the types of conversations and misconceptions that were shared on Twitter regarding chemotherapy as a treatment for cancer among the Arabic-speaking populations. METHODS:All Arabic tweets containing any of the representative set of keywords related to chemotherapy and written between May 1, 2017 and October 31, 2017 were retrieved. A manual content analysis was performed to identify the categories of the users, general themes of the tweets, and the common misconceptions about chemotherapy. A chi-square test for independence with adjusted residuals was used to assess the significant associations between the categories of the users and the themes of the tweets. RESULTS:A total of 402,157 tweets were retrieved, of which, we excluded 309,602 retweets and 62,651 irrelevant tweets. Therefore, 29,904 tweets were included in the final analysis. The majority of the tweets were posted by general users (25,774/29,904, 86.2%), followed by the relatives and friends of patients with cancer (1913/29,904, 6.4%). The tweets were classified into 9 themes; prayers and wishes for the well-being of patients undergoing chemotherapy was the most common theme (20,288/29,904, 67.8%), followed by misconceptions about chemotherapy (2084/29,904, 7.0%). There was a highly significant association between the category of the users and the themes of the tweets (?240= 16904.4, P<.001). CONCLUSIONS:Our findings support those of the previous infodemiology studies that Twitter is a valuable social media platform for assessing public conversations, discussions, and misconceptions about various health-related topics. The most prevalent theme of the tweets in our sample population was supportive messages for the patients undergoing chemotherapy, thereby suggesting that Twitter could play a role as a support mechanism for such patients. The second most prevalent theme of the tweets in our study was the various misconceptions about chemotherapy. The findings of our exploratory analysis can help physicians and health care organizations tailor educational efforts in the future to address different misconceptions about chemotherapy, thereby leading to increased public acceptance of chemotherapy as a suitable mode of treatment for cancer.
Project description:OBJECTIVE:Opposition to human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccination is common on social media and has the potential to impact vaccine coverage. This study aims to conduct an international comparison of the proportions of tweets about HPV vaccines that express concerns, the types of concerns expressed and the social connections among users posting about HPV vaccines in Australia, Canada and the UK. DESIGN:Using a cross-sectional design, an international comparison of English language tweets about HPV vaccines and social connections among Twitter users posting about HPV vaccines between January 2014 and April 2016 was conducted. The Health Belief Model, one of the most widely used theories in health psychology, was used as the basis for coding the types of HPV vaccine concerns expressed on Twitter. SETTING:The content of tweets and the social connections between users who posted tweets about HPV vaccines from Australia, Canada and the UK. POPULATION:16 789 Twitter users who posted 43?852 tweets about HPV vaccines. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES:The proportions of tweets expressing concern, the type of concern expressed and the proportions of local and international social connections between users. RESULTS:Tweets expressing concerns about HPV vaccines made up 14.9% of tweets in Canada, 19.4% in Australia and 22.6% in the UK. The types of concerns expressed were similar across the three countries, with concerns related to 'perceived barriers' being the most common. Users expressing concerns about HPV vaccines in each of the three countries had a relatively high proportion of international followers also expressing concerns. CONCLUSIONS:The proportions and types of HPV vaccine concerns expressed on Twitter were similar across the three countries. Twitter users who mostly expressed concerns about HPV vaccines were better connected to international users who shared their concerns compared with users who did not express concerns about HPV vaccines.
Project description:In recent years, the research and development of genome editing technology have been progressing rapidly, and the commercial use of genome-edited soybean started in the United States in 2019. A preceding study's results found that there is public concern with regard to the safety of high-tech foods, such as genetically modified foods and genome-edited foods. Twitter, one of the most popular social networks, allows users to post their opinions instantaneously, making it an extremely useful tool to collect what people are actually saying online in a timely manner. Therefore, it was used for collecting data on the users' concerns with and expectations of high-tech foods. This study collected and analyzed Twitter data on genome-edited foods and their labeling from May 25 to October 15 in 2019. Of 14,066 unique user IDs, 94.9% posted 5 or less tweets, whereas 64.8% tweeted only once, indicating that the majority of users who tweeted on this issue are not as intense, as they posted tweets consistently. After a process of refining, there were 28,722 tweets, of which 2,536 tweets (8.8%) were original, 326 (1.1%) were replies, and 25,860 (90%) were retweets. The numbers of tweets increased in response to government announcements and news content in the media. A total of six prominent peaks were detected during the investigation period, proving that Twitter could serve as a tool for monitoring degree of users' interests in real time. The co-occurrence network of original and reply tweets provided different words from various tweets that appeared with a certain frequency. However, the network derived from all tweets seemed to concentrate on words from specific tweets with negative overtones. As a result of sentiment analysis, 54.5% to 62.8% tweets were negative about genome-edited food and the labeling policy of the Consumer Affairs Agency, respectively, indicating a strong demand for mandatory labeling. These findings are expected to contribute to the communication strategy of genome-edited foods toward social implementation by government officers and science communicators.