Social Media and Health

Use of social media platforms and data to disseminate health information and to understand and improve individual and population health behaviors and outcomes.

Community Concerns about the COVID-19 Vaccine

Jul. 7, 2021

More than one-third of all Americans age 12 and over remain unvaccinated for COVID-19. The latest Kaiser Family Foundation poll indicates that hesitancy and acceptance of these vaccines varies by geographic, sociodemographic, and cultural factors. While we often think about vaccine hesitancy on an individual level, these individuals belong to communities that respond to the COVID-19 vaccine in very different ways.

Health Equity, Social Policy, and Promoting Recovery From COVID-19

Julia Lynch
Dec. 1, 2020

Julia Lynch

Abstract [from journal]

The COVID-19 pandemic has revealed starkly and publicly the close interconnections between social and economic equality, health equity, and population health. To better understand what social policies would best promote population health, economic recovery, and preparedness for future pandemics, one must look both upstream and abroad for inspiration. In this article, the author argues for a suite of near-term and longer-term interventions, including universal health insurance and paid...

A Qualitative Study Of Parents With Children 6 To 12 Years Old: Use Of Restaurant Calorie Labels To Inform The Development Of A Messaging Campaign

Nov. 1, 2020

Sophia V. Hua, Kimberly Sterner-Stein, Frances K. Barg, Aviva A. Musicus, Karen Glanz, Marlene B. Schwartz, Jason P. Block, Christina D. Economos, James W. Krieger, Christina A. Roberto

Abstract [from journal]

Background: US law mandates that chain restaurants with 20 or more locations post calorie information on their menus to inform consumers and encourage healthy choices. Few qualitative studies have assessed how parents perceive and use this information when ordering for their children and what types of accompanying messages might increase use of calorie labels when ordering food.

Objective: We aimed to better understand parents' perceptions and use of calorie labeling and the types of messages


A Toxic Blend: Assessing The Effects Of Cross-Source Media Coverage Of Flavored E-Cigarettes On Youth And Young Adult Perceptions

Robert C. Hornik, PhD
Oct. 26, 2020

Ava Kikut, Sharon Williams, Robert Hornik

Abstract [from journal]

Flavored e-cigarettes have received high attention across social and news media. How does exposure to e-cigarette flavors across multiple sources in the media environment influence youth e-cigarette perceptions? To address this question, we identified e-cigarette flavor mentions on 24.3 million Twitter posts and 11,691 longform texts (newspapers, broadcast news, and websites) disseminated over 3 years (2014-2017). During the same period, we measured e-cigarette beliefs through a nationally representative randomly sampled rolling


Studying Social Media Language Changes Associated With Pregnancy Status, Trimester, And Parity From Medical Records

Sharath Chandra Guntuku, PhD
Oct. 8, 2020

Sharath Chandra GuntukuJessica S. Gaulton, Emily K. Seltzer, David A AschSindhu K. Srinivas, Lyle H. Ungar, Christina Mancheno, Elissa V Klinger, Raina M. Merchant

Abstract [from journal]

We sought to evaluate whether there was variability in language used on social media across different time points of pregnancy (before, during, and after pregnancy, as well as by trimester and parity). Consenting patients shared access to their individual Facebook posts and electronic medical records. Random forest models trained on Facebook posts could differentiate first trimester of pregnancy from 3 months before pregnancy (F1 score = .63) and from a random 3-month time period (F1 score = .64). Posts during pregnancy were more


Know Your Epidemic, Know Your Response: Early perceptions of COVID-19 And Self-Reported Social Distancing In The United States

Hans-Peter Kohler, PhD
Sep. 4, 2020

Alberto Ciancio, Fabrice Kämpfen, Iliana V. Kohler, Daniel Bennett, Wändi Bruine de Bruin, Jill Darling, Arie Kapteyn, Jürgen Maurer, Hans-Peter Kohler 

Abstract [from journal]

As COVID-19 is rapidly unfolding in the United States, it is important to understand how individuals perceive the health and economic risks of the pandemic. In the absence of a readily available medical treatment, any strategy to contain the virus in the US will depend on the behavioral response of US residents. In this paper, we study individual's perceptions on COVID-19 and social distancing during the week of March 10-16, 2020, a week when COVID-19 was officially declared to be a pandemic by WHO and when new infections in the US


Characteristics Of Twitter Use By State Medicaid Programs In The United States: Machine Learning Approach

Aug. 17, 2020

Jane M. Zhu, Abeed Sarker, Sarah Gollust, Raina MerchantDavid Grande

Abstract [from journal]

Background: Twitter is a potentially valuable tool for public health officials and state Medicaid programs in the United States, which provide public health insurance to 72 million Americans.

Objective: We aim to characterize how Medicaid agencies and managed care organization (MCO) health plans are using Twitter to communicate with the public.

Methods: Using Twitter's public application programming interface, we collected 158,714 public posts ("tweets") from active


There's A Problem With The Problem List: Incongruence Of Patient Problem Information Across The Home Care Admission

Jul. 28, 2020

Paulina S. Sockolow, Kathryn H. Bowles, Natasha B. Le, Sheryl Potashnik, Yushi Yang, Carl Pankok Jr, Claire Champion, Ellen J. Bass

Abstract [from journal]

Objectives: Illustrate patterns of patient problem information received and documented across the home health care (HHC) admission process and offer practice, policy, and health information technology recommendations to improve information transfer.

Design: Observational field study.

Setting and participants: Three diverse HHC agencies using different commercial point-of-care electronic health records (EHRs). Six nurses per agency each admitted 2 patients (36 total).


Ethics And Informatics In The Age Of COVID-19: Challenges And Recommendations For Public Health Organization And Public Policy

Ross Koppel, PhD
Jul. 28, 2020

Vignesh Subbian, Anthony Solomonides, Melissa Clarkson, Vasiliki Nataly Rahimzadeh, Carolyn Petersen, Richard Schreiber, Paul R. DeMuro, Prerna Dua, Kenneth W. Goodman, Bonnie Kaplan, Ross Koppel, Christoph U. Lehmann, Eric Pan, Yalini Senathirajah

Abstract [from journal]

The COVID-19 pandemic response in the United States has exposed significant gaps in information systems and processes to enable timely clinical and public health decision-making. Specifically, the use of informatics to mitigate the spread of SARS-CoV-2, support COVID-19 care delivery, and accelerate knowledge discovery bring to the forefront issues of privacy, surveillance, limits of state powers, and interoperability between public health and clinical information systems. Using a consensus building process, we critically analyze


Proposal For Smoke-Free Public Housing: A Systematic Review Of Attitudes And Preferences From Residents Of Multi-Unit Housing

Frank Leone, MD, MS
Jul. 3, 2020

Panagis Galiatsatos, Rachelle Koehl, Christine Caufield-Noll, Emily Brigham, Frank T. Leone, Michelle Eakin, Nadia N. Hansel, Cynthia Rand, Meredith McCormack

Abstract [from journal]

A policy proposal to ban public housing smoking indoors has received support, but it is unclear how certain affected groups, specifically smokers in housing units, perceive such a policy. To review the literature on attitudes and perceptions of housing unit tenants towards an indoor smoke-free housing policy, using various databases, we searched articles for attitudes towards smoking ban enforcement in housing units. We identified fourteen articles. Non-smokers heavily favored indoor policies and current smokers heavily opposed them.