Center for Injury Research and Prevention

Measuring Health Information Dissemination and Identifying Target Interest Communities on Twitter: Methods Development and Case Study of the @SafetyMD Network

TitleMeasuring Health Information Dissemination and Identifying Target Interest Communities on Twitter: Methods Development and Case Study of the @SafetyMD Network
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2016
AuthorsKandadai V, Yang H, Jiang L, Yang CC, Fleisher L, Winston FK
JournalJMIR Res Protoc
Volume5
Issue2
Paginatione50
Date Published05/2016
ISSN1929-0748
Abstract

BACKGROUND: Little is known about the ability of individual stakeholder groups to achieve health information dissemination goals through Twitter.

OBJECTIVE: This study aimed to develop and apply methods for the systematic evaluation and optimization of health information dissemination by stakeholders through Twitter.

METHODS: Tweet content from 1790 followers of @SafetyMD (July-November 2012) was examined. User emphasis, a new indicator of Twitter information dissemination, was defined and applied to retweets across two levels of retweeters originating from @SafetyMD. User interest clusters were identified based on principal component analysis (PCA) and hierarchical cluster analysis (HCA) of a random sample of 170 followers.

RESULTS: User emphasis of keywords remained across levels but decreased by 9.5 percentage points. PCA and HCA identified 12 statistically unique clusters of followers within the @SafetyMD Twitter network.

CONCLUSIONS: This study is one of the first to develop methods for use by stakeholders to evaluate and optimize their use of Twitter to disseminate health information. Our new methods provide preliminary evidence that individual stakeholders can evaluate the effectiveness of health information dissemination and create content-specific clusters for more specific targeted messaging.

DOI10.2196/resprot.4203
Alternate JournalJMIR Res Protoc
PubMed ID27151100
PubMed Central IDPMC4873622