What Drives Health Professionals to Tweet About #HPVvaccine? Identifying Strategies for Effective Communication

Social media, in particular Twitter, is an online resource that many people use to look for health information and to communicate about their health and health care experiences. 193,379 tweets were collected between August 2014 and July 2015 that contained key words related to the HPV vaccine. The tweets were classified on the basis of user, audience, sentiment, content and vaccine characteristic. The investigators were interested in 3 groups: tweets from health professionals, tweets intended for parents and tweets which overlapped both groups. For each group, a 7-day period with the most tweets (spikes) was identified. The content of each spike varied by group. The largest spike in tweets from health professional focused on communicating recently published scientific evidence. Most tweets were positive and were about resources. The spike in tweets intended for parents centered on a national awareness day and was about resources and personal experiences. The largest spike in tweets from health professionals to parents was about an even hosted on Twitter that focused on cervical cancer awareness month. As more parents use social media to obtain health information, health professionals and organizations can leverage awareness events and personalize messages to maximize potential reach and parent engagement. Read the full article
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