From the Journals

Analysis of Twitter lung cancer content reveals opportunity for clinicians

 

Key clinical point: In a random sample of Twitter conversation related to lung cancer, message content was most frequently related to treatment.

Major finding: Majority of tweets evaluated focused on lung cancer treatment and the use of pharmaceutical and research interventions, followed by awareness, prevention, and risk topics.

Study details: Random sample of 3,000 tweets posted in a 10-day period between Sept. 30 and Oct. 9, 2016. Lung cancer–specific tweets by user type (individuals, media, and organizations) were examined to identify content and structural message features.

Disclosures: The National Science Foundation supported parts of this research. None of the authors reported any conflicts of interest.

Source: Sutton J. et al., J Am Coll Radiol. 2018 Jan. doi: 10.1016/j.jacr.2017.09.043.


 

FROM JOURNAL OF THE AMERICAN COLLEGE OF RADIOLOGY

Social media communication around lung cancer is focused primarily on cancer treatment and use of pharmaceutical and research interventions, followed closely by awareness, prevention, and risk topics, according to an analysis of Twitter conversation over a 10-day period.

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“Such findings suggest an opportunity to increase cues to action across all phases of the communication continuum,” wrote Jeannette Sutton, PhD, of the University of Kentucky, Lexington, and her colleagues.

The investigators collected 1.3 million unique Twitter messages between Sept. 30 and Oct. 9, 2016, that contained at least one of six keywords commonly used to describe cancer: cancer, chemo, tumor, malignant, biopsy, and metastasis. They then drew a random, proportional stratified sample of 3,000 messages (12.5%) for manual coding from the 23,926 messages posted that included keywords related to lung cancer. Tweets were examined by user type (individuals, media, and organizations) to identify content and structural message features.

Message content was most frequently related to treatment (32.1%), followed by awareness (22.9%), end of life (15.5%), prevention and risk information (13.3%), active cancer-unknown phase (7.6%), diagnosis (6.1%), early detection (2.7%), and survivorship (1%), Dr. Sutton and her colleagues reported.

“The large volume of messages containing content about pharmaceuticals suggests that Twitter is also a forum for sharing information and discussing emerging treatments. Importantly, treatment messages were shared primarily by individuals, suggesting that this online user community jointly includes members of the public as well as medical practitioners and companies who have an awareness of emerging treatment approaches, suggesting an opportunity for online engagement between these various groups (e.g., Lung Cancer Social Media #LCSM community and related chats),” the investigators wrote.

The National Science Foundation supported parts of this research. None of the authors reported any conflicts of interest.

SOURCE: Sutton J. et al., J Am Coll Radiol. 2018 Jan. doi: 10.1016/j.jacr.2017.09.043

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