Navigation Links
Misinformation about antibiotics can travel to large audience via Twitter: study
Date:3/30/2010

Washington, March 30, 2010 Misunderstandings about proper use of antibiotics have the potential to spread widely through social networks such as Twitter, according to a report in the April issue of AJIC: American Journal of Infection Control, the official publication of the Association for Professionals in Infection Control and Epidemiology, Inc. (APIC). Researchers from Columbia University and MixedInk (New York, NY) studied the health information content of Twitter updates mentioning antibiotics to determine how people are sharing information and assess the proliferation of misinformation. The investigation explored evidence of misunderstanding or misuse of antibiotics.

"Research focusing on microblogs and social networking services is still at an early stage," Daniel Scanfeld, MS, MA, and colleagues state in the article. "Further study is needed to assess how to promote healthy behaviors and to collect and disseminate trustworthy information using these tools." The authors stress that because health information is shared extensively on such networks, it is important for health care professionals to have a basic familiarity with social networking media services, such as Twitter. They add that such services can potentially be used to gather important real-time health data and may provide a venue to identify potential misuse or misunderstanding of antibiotics, promote positive behavior change, and disseminate valid information.

Using content analysis of 52,153 Twitter status updates ("tweets") mentioning antibiotics between March 13, 2009, and July 31, 2009, researchers categorized each tweet into one of 11 groups: general use, advice/information, side effects/negative reactions, diagnosis, resistance, misunderstanding and/or misuse, positive reactions, animals, wanting/needing, cost and other.

Once categories were established, 1,000 status updates were selected randomly from the complete list of 52,153 tweets and analyzed. The full list of tweets was further explored for cases of misunderstanding or abuse with a search for the following combinations: "flu + antibiotic(s)," "cold + antibiotic(s)," "leftover + antibiotic(s)," "share + antibiotic(s)," and "extra + antibiotic(s)".

The most common category was "general use," including a range of updates about taking antibiotics, often simply mentioning the number of days remaining on a prescription and a desire that the antibiotics begin helping soon. The second most common category was "advice and information." Some updates included the transfer of personal advice or information, such as "get antibiotics if its [sic] serious" or "Garlic generally good, but not specific to strep" The third most prevalent category was "side effects/ negative reactions," which included a variety of complaints and side effects from taking the medication. Examples of side effects ranged from the general, such as, "those antibiotics made me want to die," to the more specific, "I am on antibiotics that make me want to vomit." Negative reactions generally revolved around inconveniences, such as not being able to drink alcohol or sensitivity to the sun.

The authors also found that while the category of "misunderstanding and/or misuse" only comprised about 700 of the more than 52,000 tweets, such misunderstandings could easily spread to a large audience due to the nature of information flow through the Twitter network. The most popular word combination in this category was "flu + antibiotics," with 345 status updates including misinformation reaching a total of 172,571 followers. The next most popular word combination was "cold + antibiotics," with 302 status updates reaching a total of 850,375 followers.

"As people change how they interact, going from passive consumption to active creation of content on the Internet, social networks have become increasingly important sources of information," said Cathryn Murphy, RN, PhD, CIC, APIC 2010 president. "These findings are a reminder that we need to continue to monitor networks such as Twitter and explore ways to positively impact public health using social networks."


'/>"/>

Contact: Liz Garman
egarman@apic.org
202-454-2604
Elsevier Health Sciences
Source:Eurekalert

Related medicine news :

1. Misinformation About Antibiotics Can Travel to Large Audience Via Twitter: Study
2. Research shows why we forget to take our medicine, and what we can do about it
3. LetsTalkIBS.com Helps Patients Start the Conversation about Irritable Bowel Syndrome
4. Childhood cancer patients enrolled in clinical trials need clearer communication about their role
5. HCG True Diet – Dr. Robert True Speaks About the Importance of Medical Supervision for HCG Diets
6. Rep. Fattah Says Healthcare Reform Will Work, But Get Ready for Nonsensical Talk About Repeal
7. Morgan and Morgan Provides Consumer Alert Center with Information about Dangerous Products
8. Carnegie Mellon to host workshop about basics of technology entrepreneurship
9. Only 17% of Children Trust Dad for Advice About Bullying
10. Brooklyn Decker Talks with NewsWatch About Tips on how to stay fit and Healthy
11. National Prosthodontics Awareness Week Serves and Educates Consumers About Proper Oral Health Care
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:3/24/2017)... ... 24, 2017 , ... The Radiology Business Management Association (RBMA) has ... now in their 12th year, are among the most prestigious in radiology marketing because ... awards were retooled to recognize achievements in both large budget (over $5,000) and small ...
(Date:3/24/2017)... ... March 24, 2017 , ... Shamanic ... Center for Shamanic Healing and Spiritual Awakening, proudly presents her Sacred Peru ... This sacred and spiritual journey during the Summer Solstice will also be ...
(Date:3/24/2017)... ... March 24, 2017 , ... The law firm of ... N.Y., is pleased to announce Westchester resident Lauren C. Enea has joined the firm ... the firm, will concentrate her practice in elder law, Medicaid planning and applications, and ...
(Date:3/24/2017)... ... March 24, 2017 , ... ... Walk with God #TruthwithGrace”: a devotional journal chronicling the writer’s path toward true ... How to Walk with God #TruthwithGrace” is the creation of published author Lea ...
(Date:3/23/2017)... , ... March 23, 2017 , ... In 2016 the ... estimates that there could be four million Zika-related cases in the Americas within the ... numbers of US cases reported per year skyrocketing to an estimated 329,000. Yet, Zika, ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:3/24/2017)... DUBLIN , Mar. 24, 2017 Research and ... Size, Share, Development, Growth and Demand Forecast to 2022" report to ... The global ... expected to grow at a CAGR of 6.7% during 2016-2022 ... segment held the largest share in the global market in 2015. Among ...
(Date:3/24/2017)... 24, 2017 FinancialBuzz.com News Commentary  ... According to ... cannabis market research, the legal cannabis market is projected to ... despite conflicting signals from the current presidential administration. The report ... two biggest drivers of growth in this industry are the ...
(Date:3/24/2017)... India , March 24, 2017 ... of the industry including definitions, classifications, applications and industry ... the international market including development history, competitive landscape analysis, ... ... Ampoules industry spread across 105 pages providing 10 company ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: