ObjectivesDespite extensive evidence demonstrating the benefits of prenatal physical activity (PA), inefficient knowledge translation may contribute to low rates of PA during pregnancy. This study aimed to examine the impact of the 2019 Canadian Guideline for Physical Activity throughout Pregnancy (hereafter Guideline) on knowledge transmission via Twitter.
MethodsTweets containing keywords regarding prenatal PA were mined using the Twitter Application Programming Interface 1 month prior to (PRE), and 2 months following (POST-Month1 and Month2) Guideline release (October 18, 2018). The volume, user and location of Tweets relevant to prenatal PA were analyzed.
ResultsIn this 3-month period, 19,944 Tweets were collected. After randomization to select 10% of the sample, 1995 Tweets were analyzed. Tweets related to prenatal PA increased following Guideline release (PRE = 318/674 [45%]; POST-Month1 = 377/755 [50%]); however, this was not sustained into POST-Month2 (202/566 [36%]). The main users Tweeting about prenatal PA were categorized as 'General Population' (33%), whereas top users Tweeting about the Guideline were 'Academics' (25%), 'Exercise Specialists' (27%) and 'Medical Professionals' (20%). POST-Guideline, Tweets originated from users in 42 countries (PRE = 28).
ConclusionsTwitter can be an effective tool for knowledge transmission of PA guidelines to a variety of end-users around the globe.