Date: Friday, November 6, 2020
Session Type: Poster Session A
Session Time: 9:00AM-11:00AM
Background/Purpose: Twitter is a popular social media platform that is widely used to publish information and exchange ideas. There are over 300 million active monthly users on Twitter with about 500 million tweets sent daily. Therefore, Twitter is a unique tool with the ability to distribute ideas and information rapidly and widely to a large audience. Social media platforms including Twitter are an important source of health information nowadays, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic. Rheumatology providers and patients are likely to utilize Twitter to send and receive information related to COVID-19. In this study, we aim to analyze COVID-19 and rheumatology Twitter activity during the pandemic months.
Methods: The advanced search function on Twitter was used to retrieve tweets (English language only) with both hashtags #COVID19 and #Rheumatology from 12/31/2019-06/10/2020. Tweets were categorized by author and content. Tweet authors were categorized into: 1. Professional organization/patient advocate groups, 2.Academic institutions, 3.Medical journals/websites/network, 4.Patients, 5.Rheumatologists, 6.Other physicians, 7.Other providers, 8.Pharmaceutical companies, 9.Others. Tweets contents were categorized into: 1.COVID19 global rheumatology alliance/EULAR COVID19 database, 2.Hydroxychloroquine (HCQ) use for COVID19, 3.HCQ shortage, 4.Biologics use for COVID19, 5.Providers guidance, 6.Patients guidance, 7.COVID19 risk in rheumatology patients, 8.Webinars/learning opportunities, 9.Miscellaneous: telemedicine, COVID19 pathophysiology, conversational, publications, patient care challenges, and legislation.
Results: The first tweet with both hashtags was sent on March 4th. A total of 511 tweets were sent during the study period. Twenty-six percent of tweets were by professional organizations (136/511), 25% by rheumatologists (128/511), 17% by medical journals/websites/networks (91/511), and 14% by others (71/511). Tweets by other physicians and patients were 6% (31/511) and 3% (18/511) respectively. Tweets in the miscellaneous category were 28%, followed by provider guidance category (14%), patient guidance (13%), tweets related to COVID19 global rheumatology alliance/EULAR database (13%), webinars/learning opportunities (12%), HCQ use for COVID19 (6%), COVID19 risk in rheumatology patients (5%), HCQ shortage (4%), and biologics use for COVID19 (4%). The number of tweets was highest in April (220) followed by March (152) and May (115). The trend for certain topics appeared to change by month. HCQ shortage represented 0.9% of topics in May, 8% in April, and 3% in March. The topic of HCQ use for COVID19 was 13% in March, 3% in April with no tweets with this topic in May.
Conclusion: Twitter is an excellent tool for disseminating ideas and information that can be helpful for both providers and patients. This can be more pronounced during the COVID19 pandemic where there is a strong shift toward the online exchange of information. It is very encouraging to see that the number of professional organizations and rheumatologists using this tool is significant which can help spread credible information to rheumatology patients.
To cite this abstract in AMA style:Mohameden M, H.Ali A. Analysis of COVID-19 and Rheumatology Twitter Activity During the Pandemic Months [abstract]. Arthritis Rheumatol. 2020; 72 (suppl 10). https://acrabstracts.org/abstract/analysis-of-covid-19-and-rheumatology-twitter-activity-during-the-pandemic-months/. Accessed January 25, 2021.
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ACR Meeting Abstracts - https://acrabstracts.org/abstract/analysis-of-covid-19-and-rheumatology-twitter-activity-during-the-pandemic-months/