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What do patients learn about psychotropic medications on the web? A natural language processing study.


ABSTRACT:

Background

Low rates of medication adherence remain a major challenge across psychiatry. In part, this likely reflects patient concerns about safety and adverse effects, accurate or otherwise. We therefore sought to characterize online information about common psychiatric medications in terms of positive and negative sentiment.

Methods

We applied a natural language processing tool to score the sentiment expressed in web search results for 51 psychotropic medications across 3 drug classes (antidepressants, antipsychotics, and mood stabilizers), as a means of seeing if articles referencing these medications were generally positive or generally negative in tone. We compared between medications of the same class, and across medication classes.

Results

Across 12,733 web search results, significant within-class differences in positive (antidepressants: F(24,2682)?=?2.97, p < 0.001; antipsychotics: F(16,4029) = 3.25, p < 0.001; mood stabilizers: F(8,2371)?=?6.88, p < 0.001) and negative sentiment (antidepressants: F(24,6282)?=?11.17, p < 0.001; antipsychotics: F(16, 4029) ?=?12.13, p < 0.001; mood stabilizers: F(8, 2371)?=?13.28, p < 0.001) were identified. Among these were significantly greater negative sentiment for the antidepressants sertraline, duloxetine, venlafaxine, and paroxetine, and for the antipsychotics, quetiapine and risperidone. Conversely, lithium preparations and valproate exhibited less negative sentiment than other mood stabilizing medications.

Limitations

While these results provide a novel means of comparing medications, the present analyses cannot be linked to individual patient consumption of this information, or to its influence on their future clinical interactions.

Conclusions

Overall, a subset of psychotropic medications were associated with significantly more negative sentiment. Characterizing these differences may allow clinicians to anticipate patient willingness to initiate or continue medications.

SUBMITTER: Hart KL 

PROVIDER: S-EPMC6921244 | BioStudies | 2020-01-01

REPOSITORIES: biostudies

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