Monday, January 10, 2011

Experts Warn about Health Misinformation from Twitter

A small number of Twitter users can easily cause the spread of misinformation health, found in studies that examined the Twitter updates on the use of antibiotics. Experts warn that while the number of cases were small, Twitter can easily have a negative impact on public health.
The researchers analyzed 52,153 "tweets" that these antibiotics on March 13, 2009 and July 31, 2009, categorization of tools for publishers, as a "general use, advice / information, side effects / adverse reactions, diagnosis, resistance, misunderstanding and / or misuse, positive reactions, animals, wanting / needing, cost, and others. "The researchers then randomly monitor updates 1000 updates, and then took things further investigation of antibiotic misunderstanding and abuse.
The researchers searched for key words that included phrases such as flu and antibiotics, or cold, antibiotic and antibiotic residues, and share, and antibiotic residues. The most common category of "tweets" involved in the general discussion of antibiotic use and days of their impact on improving health. .
The second most popular category was "advice and information", some of which include personalized recommendations, and the third category of antibiotics on Twitter were no complaints or side effects that could adversely affect the health of others. For example, "those antibiotics made me want to die" and more specific information about vomiting as a side effect of antibiotics.
"As people change how they interact, going from passive consumption to active creation of content on the Internet, social networks are becoming increasingly important sources of information," said Catherine Murphy, RN, PhD, CIC, APIC 2010 president. "These findings are a reminder that we must continue to monitor networks such as Twitter and explore ways to positively influence the health of the population through social networks."
The researchers suggest that misinformation update the forms of health can be easily spread on Twitter, discovered in his analysis of tweets about antibiotics. They also show that health workers can collect information about the misinformation about antibiotics updates from Twitter, or even use social networks to promote positive health behaviors and provide valuable information through their own tweets.

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