Session Type: ACR Poster Session C
Session Time: 9:00AM-11:00AM
Little is understood about the determinants of symptom expression within individuals with fibromyalgia syndrome (FMS). While FMS sufferers often report environmental influences, including weather events, on their symptom severity, a consistent effect of specific weather conditions on FMS symptoms has yet to be demonstrated. Twitter is a popular internet-based social media platform that enables users to express their thoughts, feelings and details of their daily lives using short text-based messages (tweets) in the public domain. We used computerized content analysis of tweets to investigate the subjective experience of FMS in a large, widely distributed population and any association with coincident environmental factors.
We performed an automated search of Twitter between January 2008 and November 2014 using the hashtags #fibromyalgia, #fibro and #spoonie as keywords. Sentiment analysis, a computerized linguistic method that uses natural language processing and text analytics to identify subjective information in written source materials, was performed using a Streamcrab Python library incorporating the Stanford CoreNLP libraries to quantify the affective content of each included tweet. The classification model was trained using two sets of pre-labelled negative and positive tweets, then used to automatically compute negative and positive sentiment scores between 0 and 100 for each tweet. The sum of the two assigned scores for each tweet is 100. A higher negative sentiment score implies a more severe pain experience. Date, time and location data for each individual tweet were used to identify corresponding climate data (temperature, humidity, wind speed, “feels like”, heat index, wind chill, and dew point) via World Weather Online. The association between negative sentiment scores (indicative of greater pain) and environmental variables was measured using Pearson correlation.
The search returned 140,432 English language tweets for which location data were available. Examples of tweets with their negative and positive sentiment analysis scores are shown in Table 1. There was a low positive correlation between humidity and negative sentiment scores which was significant at the 0.05 level (r=0.009, p=0.001). There was no significant association between the other environmental variables and negative sentiment scores.
Conclusion: Twitter users who tweet about fibromyalgia are slightly more likely to include content that suggests a higher pain burden as atmospheric humidity increases. Other local weather features, including temperature and wind speed, are not associated with changes in pain sentiment expressed via Twitter. Computerized content analysis is a novel and potentially powerful method for exploring relationships between environmental variables and the subjective experience in rheumatic and other diseases.
|Tweet Text||Positive Score||Negative Score|
|pain for days not going away, just broke down in tears, couldnt bear it anymore, cant be strong everyday; today is not the day #fibro #spoonie||0.0000383||99.99996167|
|Ow. Serious back #pain rn. I did too much today, didn’t sleep enough, and my body is punishing me for it!! #mecfs #spoonie #insomnia||0.002235287||99.99776471|
|too tired to write, too tired to function, just too tired. i ache all over. damn #fibromyalgia. maybe epsom salt bath…||0.759179219||99.24082078|
|I’m hurting all over! Pain, pain please go away! I have 7 more hours of work to go! #spoonie||5.554535418||94.44546458|
|I’m having a good morning. If there’s 1 thing I’ve learned from being a #spoonie it’s to appreciate every good moment. 🙂||99.92757658||0.072423417|
|Celebrating the very fact that I am up at 9:30 p.m. I lived through Saturday! #spoonie||99.93087439||0.069125607|
|So now I’m super duper excited 2 record the class tomorrow! I’ll just do a dance session while at the mic! Yippee #spoonie #fibro #arthritis||99.96559746||0.034402541|
|I got a wonderful massage. Getting a #spoonie ready for anything requires gifted massage tech =P||99.98018133||0.019818665|
To cite this abstract in AMA style:Delir Haghighi P, Kang YB, Huynh T, Buchbinder R, Burstein F, Whittle S. Investigation of Environmental Associations of Fibromyalgia Pain Using Twitter Content Analysis [abstract]. Arthritis Rheumatol. 2015; 67 (suppl 10). http://acrabstracts.org/abstract/investigation-of-environmental-associations-of-fibromyalgia-pain-using-twitter-content-analysis/. Accessed March 1, 2017.
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ACR Meeting Abstracts - http://acrabstracts.org/abstract/investigation-of-environmental-associations-of-fibromyalgia-pain-using-twitter-content-analysis/