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1.
Journal of Medical Internet Research Vol 23(6), 2021, ArtID e27300 ; 23(6), 2021.
Article in English | APA PsycInfo | ID: covidwho-1790504

ABSTRACT

Background: As policy makers continue to shape the national and local responses to the COVID-19 pandemic, the information they choose to share and how they frame their content provide key insights into the public and health care systems. Objective: We examined the language used by the members of the US House and Senate during the first 10 months of the COVID-19 pandemic and measured content and sentiment based on the tweets that they shared. Methods: We used Quorum (Quorum Analytics Inc) to access more than 300,000 tweets posted by US legislators from January 1 to October 10, 2020. We used differential language analyses to compare the content and sentiment of tweets posted by legislators based on their party affiliation. Results: We found that health care-related themes in Democratic legislators' tweets focused on racial disparities in care (odds ratio [OR] 2.24, 95% CI 2.22-2.27;P<.001), health care and insurance (OR 1.74, 95% CI 1.7-1.77;P<.001), COVID-19 testing (OR 1.15, 95% CI 1.12-1.19;P<.001), and public health guidelines (OR 1.25, 95% CI 1.22-1.29;P<.001). The dominant themes in the Republican legislators' discourse included vaccine development (OR 1.51, 95% CI 1.47-1.55;P<.001) and hospital resources and equipment (OR 1.22, 95% CI 1.18-1.25). Nonhealth care-related topics associated with a Democratic affiliation included protections for essential workers (OR 1.55, 95% CI 1.52-1.59), the 2020 election and voting (OR 1.31, 95% CI 1.27-1.35), unemployment and housing (OR 1.27, 95% CI 1.24-1.31), crime and racism (OR 1.22, 95% CI 1.18-1.26), public town halls (OR 1.2, 95% CI 1.16-1.23), the Trump Administration (OR 1.22, 95% CI 1.19-1.26), immigration (OR 1.16, 95% CI 1.12-1.19), and the loss of life (OR 1.38, 95% CI 1.35-1.42). The themes associated with the Republican affiliation included China (OR 1.89, 95% CI 1.85-1.92), small business assistance (OR 1.27, 95% CI 1.23-1.3), congressional relief bills (OR 1.23, 95% CI 1.2-1.27), press briefings (OR 1.22, 95% CI 1.19-1.26), and economic recovery (OR 1.2, 95% CI 1.16-1.23). Conclusions: Divergent language use on social media corresponds to the partisan divide in the first several months of the course of the COVID-19 public health crisis. (PsycInfo Database Record (c) 2022 APA, all rights reserved)

3.
JMIR Infodemiology ; 2(1): e32372, 2022.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1714903

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: The COVID-19 era has been characterized by the politicization of health-related topics. This is especially concerning given evidence that politicized discussion of vaccination may contribute to vaccine hesitancy. No research, however, has examined the content and politicization of legislator communication with the public about vaccination during the COVID-19 era. OBJECTIVE: The aim of this study was to examine vaccine-related tweets produced by state and federal legislators during the COVID-19 era to (1) describe the content of vaccine-related tweets; (2) examine the differences in vaccine-related tweet content between Democrats and Republicans; and (3) quantify (and describe trends over time in) partisan differences in vaccine-related communication. METHODS: We abstracted all vaccine-related tweets produced by state and federal legislators between February 01, 2020, and December 11, 2020. We used latent Dirichlet allocation to define the tweet topics and used descriptive statistics to describe differences by party in the use of topics and changes in political polarization over time. RESULTS: We included 14,519 tweets generated by 1463 state legislators and 521 federal legislators. Republicans were more likely to use words (eg, "record time," "launched," and "innovation") and topics (eg, Operation Warp Speed success) that were focused on the successful development of a SARS-CoV-2 vaccine. Democrats used a broader range of words (eg, "anti-vaxxers," "flu," and "free") and topics (eg, vaccine prioritization, influenza, and antivaxxers) that were more aligned with public health messaging related to the vaccine. Polarization increased over most of the study period. CONCLUSIONS: Republican and Democratic legislators used different language in their Twitter conversations about vaccination during the COVID-19 era, leading to increased political polarization of vaccine-related tweets. These communication patterns have the potential to contribute to vaccine hesitancy.

4.
Ann Intern Med ; 175(2): 179-190, 2022 02.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1579932

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Although most patients with SARS-CoV-2 infection can be safely managed at home, the need for hospitalization can arise suddenly. OBJECTIVE: To determine whether enrollment in an automated remote monitoring service for community-dwelling adults with COVID-19 at home ("COVID Watch") was associated with improved mortality. DESIGN: Retrospective cohort analysis. SETTING: Mid-Atlantic academic health system in the United States. PARTICIPANTS: Outpatients who tested positive for SARS-CoV-2 between 23 March and 30 November 2020. INTERVENTION: The COVID Watch service consists of twice-daily, automated text message check-ins with an option to report worsening symptoms at any time. All escalations were managed 24 hours a day, 7 days a week by dedicated telemedicine clinicians. MEASUREMENTS: Thirty- and 60-day outcomes of patients enrolled in COVID Watch were compared with those of patients who were eligible to enroll but received usual care. The primary outcome was death at 30 days. Secondary outcomes included emergency department (ED) visits and hospitalizations. Treatment effects were estimated with propensity score-weighted risk adjustment models. RESULTS: A total of 3488 patients enrolled in COVID Watch and 4377 usual care control participants were compared with propensity score weighted models. At 30 days, COVID Watch patients had an odds ratio for death of 0.32 (95% CI, 0.12 to 0.72), with 1.8 fewer deaths per 1000 patients (CI, 0.5 to 3.1) (P = 0.005); at 60 days, the difference was 2.5 fewer deaths per 1000 patients (CI, 0.9 to 4.0) (P = 0.002). Patients in COVID Watch had more telemedicine encounters, ED visits, and hospitalizations and presented to the ED sooner (mean, 1.9 days sooner [CI, 0.9 to 2.9 days]; all P < 0.001). LIMITATION: Observational study with the potential for unobserved confounding. CONCLUSION: Enrollment of outpatients with COVID-19 in an automated remote monitoring service was associated with reduced mortality, potentially explained by more frequent telemedicine encounters and more frequent and earlier presentation to the ED. PRIMARY FUNDING SOURCE: Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/therapy , Remote Consultation/methods , Text Messaging , Adult , Aged , COVID-19/mortality , Comparative Effectiveness Research , Emergency Service, Hospital , Female , Home Care Services , Hospitalization , Humans , Male , Middle Aged , Retrospective Studies , United States/epidemiology
5.
J Med Internet Res ; 23(6): e27300, 2021 06 03.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1273309

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: As policy makers continue to shape the national and local responses to the COVID-19 pandemic, the information they choose to share and how they frame their content provide key insights into the public and health care systems. OBJECTIVE: We examined the language used by the members of the US House and Senate during the first 10 months of the COVID-19 pandemic and measured content and sentiment based on the tweets that they shared. METHODS: We used Quorum (Quorum Analytics Inc) to access more than 300,000 tweets posted by US legislators from January 1 to October 10, 2020. We used differential language analyses to compare the content and sentiment of tweets posted by legislators based on their party affiliation. RESULTS: We found that health care-related themes in Democratic legislators' tweets focused on racial disparities in care (odds ratio [OR] 2.24, 95% CI 2.22-2.27; P<.001), health care and insurance (OR 1.74, 95% CI 1.7-1.77; P<.001), COVID-19 testing (OR 1.15, 95% CI 1.12-1.19; P<.001), and public health guidelines (OR 1.25, 95% CI 1.22-1.29; P<.001). The dominant themes in the Republican legislators' discourse included vaccine development (OR 1.51, 95% CI 1.47-1.55; P<.001) and hospital resources and equipment (OR 1.22, 95% CI 1.18-1.25). Nonhealth care-related topics associated with a Democratic affiliation included protections for essential workers (OR 1.55, 95% CI 1.52-1.59), the 2020 election and voting (OR 1.31, 95% CI 1.27-1.35), unemployment and housing (OR 1.27, 95% CI 1.24-1.31), crime and racism (OR 1.22, 95% CI 1.18-1.26), public town halls (OR 1.2, 95% CI 1.16-1.23), the Trump Administration (OR 1.22, 95% CI 1.19-1.26), immigration (OR 1.16, 95% CI 1.12-1.19), and the loss of life (OR 1.38, 95% CI 1.35-1.42). The themes associated with the Republican affiliation included China (OR 1.89, 95% CI 1.85-1.92), small business assistance (OR 1.27, 95% CI 1.23-1.3), congressional relief bills (OR 1.23, 95% CI 1.2-1.27), press briefings (OR 1.22, 95% CI 1.19-1.26), and economic recovery (OR 1.2, 95% CI 1.16-1.23). CONCLUSIONS: Divergent language use on social media corresponds to the partisan divide in the first several months of the course of the COVID-19 public health crisis.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/psychology , Health Communication , Social Media/statistics & numerical data , Cross-Sectional Studies , Humans , Language , Pandemics , SARS-CoV-2/isolation & purification , United States/epidemiology
6.
Hum Vaccin Immunother ; 17(9): 2868-2872, 2021 09 02.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1221451

ABSTRACT

Widespread SARS-CoV-2 vaccine uptake will be critical to resolution of the COVID-19 pandemic. Politicians have the potential to impact vaccine sentiment and uptake through vaccine-related communication with the public. We used tweets (n = 6,201), abstracted from Quorum, a public affairs software platform, to examine changes in the frequency of vaccine-related communication by legislators on the social media platform, Twitter. We found an increase in vaccine-related tweets by legislators following the arrival of SARS-CoV-2 in the United States. In the pre-COVID-19 era the majority of vaccine-related tweets were generated by Democrat and state senators. The increase in tweets following the arrival of COVID-19, however, was greater among Republican and federal legislators than Democrat or state legislators. This suggests that legislators who were previously less engaged in public discussion of vaccination, became engaged following the arrival of SARS-CoV-2, which may have implications for COVID-19 vaccine uptake among their followers.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Social Media , COVID-19 Vaccines , Humans , Pandemics/prevention & control , SARS-CoV-2 , United States
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