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1.
J Med Internet Res ; 22(11): e20550, 2020 11 25.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1024462

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: It is important to measure the public response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Twitter is an important data source for infodemiology studies involving public response monitoring. OBJECTIVE: The objective of this study is to examine COVID-19-related discussions, concerns, and sentiments using tweets posted by Twitter users. METHODS: We analyzed 4 million Twitter messages related to the COVID-19 pandemic using a list of 20 hashtags (eg, "coronavirus," "COVID-19," "quarantine") from March 7 to April 21, 2020. We used a machine learning approach, Latent Dirichlet Allocation (LDA), to identify popular unigrams and bigrams, salient topics and themes, and sentiments in the collected tweets. RESULTS: Popular unigrams included "virus," "lockdown," and "quarantine." Popular bigrams included "COVID-19," "stay home," "corona virus," "social distancing," and "new cases." We identified 13 discussion topics and categorized them into 5 different themes: (1) public health measures to slow the spread of COVID-19, (2) social stigma associated with COVID-19, (3) COVID-19 news, cases, and deaths, (4) COVID-19 in the United States, and (5) COVID-19 in the rest of the world. Across all identified topics, the dominant sentiments for the spread of COVID-19 were anticipation that measures can be taken, followed by mixed feelings of trust, anger, and fear related to different topics. The public tweets revealed a significant feeling of fear when people discussed new COVID-19 cases and deaths compared to other topics. CONCLUSIONS: This study showed that Twitter data and machine learning approaches can be leveraged for an infodemiology study, enabling research into evolving public discussions and sentiments during the COVID-19 pandemic. As the situation rapidly evolves, several topics are consistently dominant on Twitter, such as confirmed cases and death rates, preventive measures, health authorities and government policies, COVID-19 stigma, and negative psychological reactions (eg, fear). Real-time monitoring and assessment of Twitter discussions and concerns could provide useful data for public health emergency responses and planning. Pandemic-related fear, stigma, and mental health concerns are already evident and may continue to influence public trust when a second wave of COVID-19 occurs or there is a new surge of the current pandemic.


Subject(s)
/epidemiology , Emotions/physiology , Machine Learning , Social Media , /virology , Data Collection/methods , Humans , /isolation & purification
2.
J Med Internet Res ; 22(10): e19684, 2020 10 09.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1024458

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Since its outbreak in January 2020, COVID-19 has quickly spread worldwide and has become a global pandemic. Social media platforms have been recognized as important tools for health-promoting practices in public health, and the use of social media is widespread among the public. However, little is known about the effects of social media use on health promotion during a pandemic such as COVID-19. OBJECTIVE: In this study, we aimed to explore the predictive role of social media use on public preventive behaviors in China during the COVID-19 pandemic and how disease knowledge and eHealth literacy moderated the relationship between social media use and preventive behaviors. METHODS: A national web-based cross-sectional survey was conducted by a proportionate probability sampling among 802 Chinese internet users ("netizens") in February 2020. Descriptive statistics, Pearson correlations, and hierarchical multiple regressions were employed to examine and explore the relationships among all the variables. RESULTS: Almost half the 802 study participants were male (416, 51.9%), and the average age of the participants was 32.65 years. Most of the 802 participants had high education levels (624, 77.7%), had high income >¥5000 (US $736.29) (525, 65.3%), were married (496, 61.8%), and were in good health (486, 60.6%). The average time of social media use was approximately 2 to 3 hours per day (mean 2.34 hours, SD 1.11), and the most frequently used media types were public social media (mean score 4.49/5, SD 0.78) and aggregated social media (mean score 4.07/5, SD 1.07). Social media use frequency (ß=.20, P<.001) rather than time significantly predicted preventive behaviors for COVID-19. Respondents were also equipped with high levels of disease knowledge (mean score 8.15/10, SD 1.43) and eHealth literacy (mean score 3.79/5, SD 0.59). Disease knowledge (ß=.11, P=.001) and eHealth literacy (ß=.27, P<.001) were also significant predictors of preventive behaviors. Furthermore, eHealth literacy (P=.038) and disease knowledge (P=.03) positively moderated the relationship between social media use frequency and preventive behaviors, while eHealth literacy (ß=.07) affected this relationship positively and disease knowledge (ß=-.07) affected it negatively. Different social media types differed in predicting an individual's preventive behaviors for COVID-19. Aggregated social media (ß=.22, P<.001) was the best predictor, followed by public social media (ß=.14, P<.001) and professional social media (ß=.11, P=.002). However, official social media (ß=.02, P=.597) was an insignificant predictor. CONCLUSIONS: Social media is an effective tool to promote behaviors to prevent COVID-19 among the public. Health literacy is essential for promotion of individual health and influences the extent to which the public engages in preventive behaviors during a pandemic. Our results not only enrich the theoretical paradigm of public health management and health communication but also have practical implications in pandemic control for China and other countries.


Subject(s)
Coronavirus Infections/epidemiology , Health Behavior , Health Knowledge, Attitudes, Practice , Health Literacy/statistics & numerical data , Health Surveys , Pneumonia, Viral/epidemiology , Social Media , Telemedicine/statistics & numerical data , Adult , Asian Continental Ancestry Group/psychology , Betacoronavirus , China/epidemiology , Cross-Sectional Studies , Female , Health Communication , Humans , Male , Middle Aged , Pandemics , Sampling Studies , Young Adult
3.
PLoS Biol ; 18(10): e3000992, 2020 10.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1024392

ABSTRACT

In a world beset by attempts to undermine scientific evidence and evidence-based policy, we emphasize their important role in helping humanity rise to the challenges of our time.


Subject(s)
Culture , Leadership , Science , Humans , Pandemics , Research , Social Media , Vaccination
4.
J Cosmet Dermatol ; 19(11): 2974-2981, 2020 Nov.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1024197

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Hair loss affects most people at some point in their lifetime, causing anxiety and decreased self-esteem. There are multiple surgical and nonsurgical treatments available, with the surgical options having greater and longer-lasting effects. Such treatments have evolved over time with advances in technology and research, with numerous patients researching these treatments on Google. Many surgeons who provide these treatments belong to the International Society of Hair Restoration Surgeons (ISHRS). AIMS: To investigate trends in surgical hair restoration treatment from both the surgeon and patient perspectives. METHODS: Patient epidemiological and surgical data from the ISHRS were combined with search trend data from Google to analyze changing trends in surgical hair restoration treatment. RESULTS: Worldwide Internet searches for "hair transplant" have increased from 2004 to the present. Follicular unit excision (FUE) has supplanted follicular unit transplant (FUT) as the most popular hair transplant performed. Since 2004, there has been an increase in both nonsurgical and surgical female patients. Beard and eyebrow transplants have increased in popularity. Google searches follow this trend. Nonsurgical treatments such as platelet-rich plasma (PRP) are being searched more frequently. Hair restoration clinics and Google searches were affected adversely by the COVID-19 pandemic. CONCLUSION: Technological advances in available therapies, improvement in delivery systems, changes in hair fashion, and global events have direct impact on hair restoration treatments offered by physicians and researched by patients. It is in the best interest of all hair restoration providers to keep abreast of changing technologies and treatment trends to stay at the forefront of their profession.


Subject(s)
Alopecia/therapy , Betacoronavirus , Coronavirus Infections/epidemiology , Cosmetic Techniques/statistics & numerical data , Pneumonia, Viral/epidemiology , Practice Patterns, Physicians'/statistics & numerical data , Humans , Pandemics , Social Media , Surveys and Questionnaires
6.
Lancet Digit Health ; 2(6): e268, 2020 06.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-995673
8.
Cogn Res Princ Implic ; 5(1): 63, 2020 12 04.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1021508

ABSTRACT

Exposure to 'fake news' can result in false memories, with possible consequences for downstream behaviour. Given the sharp rise in online misinformation during the coronavirus pandemic, it is important to understand the factors that influence the development of false memories. The present study measured susceptibility to false memories following exposure to fabricated news stories about the pandemic in a sample of 3746 participants. We investigated the effect of individual differences in (1) knowledge about COVID-19, (2) engagement with media or discussion about the coronavirus, (3) anxiety about COVID-19 and (4) analytical reasoning. Notably, objectively and subjectively assessed knowledge about COVID-19 were not significantly correlated. Objectively assessed knowledge was associated with fewer false memories but more true memories, suggesting a true discrimination between true and fake news. In contrast, participants who merely believed themselves to be very knowledgeable were more likely to report a memory for true stories, but showed no reduction in false memories. Similarly, individuals who reported high levels of media engagement or anxiety about COVID-19 reported an increase in true (but not false) memories. Finally, higher levels of analytical reasoning were associated with fewer memories for both true and fabricated stories, suggesting a stricter threshold for reporting a memory for any story. These data indicate that false memories can form in response to fake COVID-19 news and that susceptibility to this misinformation is affected by the individual's knowledge about and interaction with COVID-19 information, as well as their tendency to think critically.


Subject(s)
Communication , Mass Media , Repression, Psychology , Adolescent , Adult , Aged , Aged, 80 and over , Communications Media , Female , Humans , Individuality , Ireland , Knowledge , Male , Middle Aged , Pandemics , Social Media , Young Adult
9.
Adv Chronic Kidney Dis ; 27(5): 418-426, 2020 09.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1019902

ABSTRACT

The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic has spread exponentially throughout the world in a short period, aided by our hyperconnected world including global trade and travel. Unlike previous pandemics, the pace of the spread of the virus has been matched by the pace of publications, not just in traditional journals, but also in preprint servers. Not all publication findings are true, and sifting through the firehose of data has been challenging to peer reviewers, editors, as well as to consumers of the literature, that is, scientists, healthcare workers, and the general public. There has been an equally exponential rise in the public discussion on social media. Rather than decry the pace of change, we suggest the nephrology community should embrace it, making deposition of research into preprint servers the default, encouraging prepublication peer review more widely of such preprint studies, and harnessing social media tools to make these actions easier and seamless.


Subject(s)
Nephrology , Peer Review, Research , Preprints as Topic , Blogging , Editorial Policies , Humans , Open Access Publishing , Periodicals as Topic , Social Media
10.
Chemistry ; 26(68): 15759-15762, 2020 Dec 04.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1017938

ABSTRACT

Rising to the challenge: Pictured from left to right: Salma L. Nuñez, Albert Reyes and Lisandra Santiago-Capeles, Ph.D. The challenges that young scientists face in academia and industry in the United States are discussed. Prof. Joseph Clark provides insight about how social media, funding, diversity, natural disasters, COVID-19 and student loan debt are impacting young scientists. A discussion of strategies to meet these challenges and support young scientists are presented.


Subject(s)
Career Mobility , Research Personnel , /epidemiology , Employment , Humans , Industry , Natural Disasters , Pandemics , Social Media , Training Support , United States , Universities
12.
Int J Environ Res Public Health ; 18(1)2021 01 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1011536

ABSTRACT

Today's societies are connected to a level that has never been seen before. The COVID-19 pandemic has exposed the vulnerabilities of such an unprecedently connected world. As of 19 November 2020, over 56 million people have been infected with nearly 1.35 million deaths, and the numbers are growing. The state-of-the-art social media analytics for COVID-19-related studies to understand the various phenomena happening in our environment are limited and require many more studies. This paper proposes a software tool comprising a collection of unsupervised Latent Dirichlet Allocation (LDA) machine learning and other methods for the analysis of Twitter data in Arabic with the aim to detect government pandemic measures and public concerns during the COVID-19 pandemic. The tool is described in detail, including its architecture, five software components, and algorithms. Using the tool, we collect a dataset comprising 14 million tweets from the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA) for the period 1 February 2020 to 1 June 2020. We detect 15 government pandemic measures and public concerns and six macro-concerns (economic sustainability, social sustainability, etc.), and formulate their information-structural, temporal, and spatio-temporal relationships. For example, we are able to detect the timewise progression of events from the public discussions on COVID-19 cases in mid-March to the first curfew on 22 March, financial loan incentives on 22 March, the increased quarantine discussions during March-April, the discussions on the reduced mobility levels from 24 March onwards, the blood donation shortfall late March onwards, the government's 9 billion SAR (Saudi Riyal) salary incentives on 3 April, lifting the ban on five daily prayers in mosques on 26 May, and finally the return to normal government measures on 29 May 2020. These findings show the effectiveness of the Twitter media in detecting important events, government measures, public concerns, and other information in both time and space with no earlier knowledge about them.


Subject(s)
Communicable Disease Control , Government , Pandemics , Social Media , Humans , Machine Learning , Saudi Arabia
13.
Int J Environ Res Public Health ; 18(1)2020 12 22.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1011509

ABSTRACT

The lockdown restrictions due to the COVID-19 pandemic have led to increased stress levels and feelings of anxiety in the general population. Problematic usage of certain online applications is one frequent way to compensate for negative feelings and stress. The current study investigated changes of online media consumption during the lockdown in Germany. Gender and age specific differences in specific online activities were assessed. n = 3245 subjects participated in an online survey conducted between the 8th April and the 11th May 2020. Participants' age ranged between 18 and >55 years. A considerably high percentage (71.4%) of participants reported increased online media consumption during the lockdown. Male participants were more likely to increase their consumption of gaming and erotic platforms, while female participants reported a higher increase in the engagement in social networks, information research, and video streaming than males. The findings revealed an increased usage of all online applications during the lockdown. For the clarification whether the increase might present a risk for elevated Internet-use disorders or can be regarded as a functional and time-limited phenomenon, further studies, assessing changes in these online activities after the end of the pandemic, are needed.


Subject(s)
Internet/statistics & numerical data , Pandemics , Social Media/statistics & numerical data , Adolescent , Adult , Communicable Disease Control , Female , Germany , Humans , Male , Middle Aged , Young Adult
14.
J Med Internet Res ; 22(12): e24487, 2020 12 24.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1011351

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: The COVID-19 pandemic has negatively affected the mental health of university students. OBJECTIVE: This study examined the psychological responses toward COVID-19 among university students from 3 countries-Indonesia, Taiwan, and Thailand. METHODS: We used a web-based, cross-sectional survey to recruit 1985 university students from 5 public universities (2 in Indonesia, 1 in Thailand, and 1 in Taiwan) via popular social media platforms such as Facebook, LINE, WhatsApp, and broadcast. All students (n=938 in Indonesia, n=734 in Thailand, and n=313 in Taiwan) answered questions concerning their anxiety, suicidal thoughts (or sadness), confidence in pandemic control, risk perception of susceptibility to infection, perceived support, resources for fighting infection, and sources of information in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic. RESULTS: Among the 3 student groups, Thai students had the highest levels of anxiety but the lowest levels of confidence in pandemic control and available resources for fighting COVID-19. Factors associated with higher anxiety differed across countries. Less perceived satisfactory support was associated with more suicidal thoughts among Indonesian students. On the other hand, Taiwanese students were more negatively affected by information gathered from the internet and from medical staff than were Indonesian or Thai students. CONCLUSIONS: Our findings suggest that health care providers in Thailand may need to pay special attention to Thai university students given that high levels of anxiety were observed in this study population. In addition, health care providers should establish a good support system for university students, as the results of this study indicate a negative association between support and suicidal thoughts.


Subject(s)
Anxiety/epidemiology , Anxiety Disorders , Biometry , Cross-Sectional Studies , Female , Health Personnel/psychology , Humans , Indonesia , Male , Pandemics , Social Media , Students/psychology , Suicidal Ideation , Taiwan , Thailand , Universities , Young Adult
15.
Int J Environ Res Public Health ; 18(1)2020 12 26.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1006965

ABSTRACT

During times of public crises (such as COVID-19), governments must act swiftly to release crisis information effectively and efficiently to the public. This paper provides a general overview of the way that the Wuhan local government use Weibo as a channel to engage with their citizens during the COVID-19 pandemic. Based on the media richness, dialogic loop, and a series of theoretically relevant factors, such as content type, text length, and information source, we try to examine how citizen engage with their local government. By analyzing the data mining samples from Wuhan Release, the official Sina Weibo account of Wuhan's local government, results show that, despite the unstable situation COVID-19 over the crisis, there exist three stages of a crisis on the whole. Combining the behavior of the government and the public, duration from 31 December 2019 to 19 January 2020 could be seen as the development period, then the outbreak period (30 January 2020 to 28 February 2020), and a grace period (29 February 2020 to19 April 2020). Public attention to different types of information changes over time, but curbing rumors has always been a priority. Media richness features partially influent citizen engagement. Text length is significantly positively associated with citizen engagement through government social media. However, posts containing information sources have a negative impact on citizen engagement.


Subject(s)
Information Dissemination/methods , Local Government , Pandemics , Social Media , China , Humans
17.
Prof Inferm ; 73(3): 219-222, 2020.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1000573

ABSTRACT

COVID-19 brought out the critical issues of public health messages and the relationship between health literacy, health promotion, and public health. The aim is to analyse these concepts to provide a framework in which mutual influences are ontologically analysed; more specifically this article will explore whether health promotion should improve health literacy or health literacy is actually a pre-requisite for understanding (and put into practice) health promotion/public health messages. Public health must protect the public from misinformation and on this nurses and other health care providers play a crucial role in supporting individuals and communities in the comprehension of public health messages. The paradox under analysis is the link between health literacy and health promotion; what the role of health literacy is when, as in the case of the recent outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic, Public Health must address tens of hundreds of health promotion messages to the whole population. During the outbreak, there was an underlying uncertainty, every day new data and information emerged and every day something more was understood (or misunderstood) about the virus. There was a massive presence of COVID-19 misinformation, particularly on social media in terms of, among others, treatments, the utility of wearing mask, COVID-19 cases by age group, conspiracy theories, all added more confusion and uncertainty to the public. Public health must protect the public from misinfromation. While in practice actions have been put in place to improve patients' compliance with respect to health promotion it is unclear the ontological relationship between health promotion and health literacy within the Public Health context.


Subject(s)
Health Literacy , Health Promotion/methods , Public Health , Communication , Disease Outbreaks , Humans , Patient Compliance , Social Media
18.
Int J Environ Res Public Health ; 17(24)2020 12 21.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1000292

ABSTRACT

As a crucial element of China's political and cultural life, "banners," or biaoyǔ, have been around for decades, in support of national-level policies such as family planning and the governing mottos of Presidents. The banners that have emerged during the Covid-19 pandemic which was also the subject of a national-level driven policy, have been involved in a nation-wide public debate over the language styles of banners used to urge people to stay indoors. Based on the analysis of the early COVID-19 banners and the related online comments, this article analyzes the language style patterns of the banners and the mode of banner circulation. The study found that the manner in which the banners are circulated goes beyond a unidirectional path of on-site instant communication. This process is facilitated by social networks and mass media, which, during circulation, twice created a banner upgrade. The upgrades created decontextualization and function extension of the banners, whereas audience feedback triggered an adaptive adjustment of the language style of the banners. This article suggests that the study of the use and spread of banners, especially the early COVID-19 banners, sheds light on the study of mass communication and discourse style, and also how measures to contain pandemics such as COVID-19 can be communicated.


Subject(s)
/prevention & control , Communication , Health Promotion/methods , Pandemics/prevention & control , China , Humans , Mass Media , Social Media
19.
J Med Internet Res ; 22(12): e24550, 2020 12 03.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-999991

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Emerging evidence suggests that people with arthritis are reporting increased physical pain and psychological distress during the COVID-19 pandemic. At the same time, Twitter's daily usage has surged by 23% throughout the pandemic period, presenting a unique opportunity to assess the content and sentiment of tweets. Individuals with arthritis use Twitter to communicate with peers, and to receive up-to-date information from health professionals and services about novel therapies and management techniques. OBJECTIVE: The aim of this research was to identify proxy topics of importance for individuals with arthritis during the COVID-19 pandemic, and to explore the emotional context of tweets by people with arthritis during the early phase of the pandemic. METHODS: From March 20 to April 20, 2020, publicly available tweets posted in English and with hashtag combinations related to arthritis and COVID-19 were extracted retrospectively from Twitter. Content analysis was used to identify common themes within tweets, and sentiment analysis was used to examine positive and negative emotions in themes to understand the COVID-19 experiences of people with arthritis. RESULTS: In total, 149 tweets were analyzed. The majority of tweeters were female and were from the United States. Tweeters reported a range of arthritis conditions, including rheumatoid arthritis, systemic lupus erythematosus, and psoriatic arthritis. Seven themes were identified: health care experiences, personal stories, links to relevant blogs, discussion of arthritis-related symptoms, advice sharing, messages of positivity, and stay-at-home messaging. Sentiment analysis demonstrated marked anxiety around medication shortages, increased physical symptom burden, and strong desire for trustworthy information and emotional connection. CONCLUSIONS: Tweets by people with arthritis highlight the multitude of concurrent concerns during the COVID-19 pandemic. Understanding these concerns, which include heightened physical and psychological symptoms in the context of treatment misinformation, may assist clinicians to provide person-centered care during this time of great health uncertainty.


Subject(s)
Arthritis/psychology , Attitude to Health , Pandemics , Patients/psychology , Social Media/statistics & numerical data , Communication , Female , Humans , Male , Retrospective Studies , Social Media/supply & distribution , United States/epidemiology
20.
J Med Internet Res ; 22(12): e24775, 2020 12 17.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-993093

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: During the COVID-19 pandemic, residential lockdowns were implemented in numerous cities in China to contain the rapid spread of the disease. Although these stringent regulations effectively slowed the spread of COVID-19, they may have posed challenges to the well-being of residents. OBJECTIVE: This study aims to explore the effects of residential lockdown on the subjective well-being (SWB) of individuals in China during the COVID-19 pandemic. METHODS: The sample consisted of 1790 Sina Weibo users who were residents of cities that imposed residential lockdowns, of which 1310 users (73.18%) were female, and 3580 users who were residents of cities that were not locked down (gender-matched with the 1790 lockdown residents). In both the lockdown and nonlockdown groups, we calculated SWB indicators during the 2 weeks before and after the enforcement date of the residential lockdown using individuals' original posts on Sina Weibo. SWB was calculated via online ecological recognition, which is based on established machine learning predictive models. RESULTS: The interactions of time (before the residential lockdown or after the residential lockdown) × area (lockdown or nonlockdown) in the integral analysis (N=5370) showed that after the residential lockdown, compared with the nonlockdown group, the lockdown group scored lower in some negative SWB indicators, including somatization (F1,5368=13.593, P<.001) and paranoid ideation (F1,5368=14.333, P<.001). The interactions of time (before the residential lockdown or after the residential lockdown) × area (developed or underdeveloped) in the comparison of residential lockdown areas with different levels of economic development (N=1790) indicated that the SWB of residents in underdeveloped areas showed no significant change after the residential lockdown (P>.05), while that of residents in developed areas changed. CONCLUSIONS: These findings increase our understanding of the psychological impact and cost of residential lockdown during an epidemic. The more negative changes in the SWB of residents in developed areas imply a greater need for psychological intervention under residential lockdown in such areas.


Subject(s)
/epidemiology , Machine Learning , Quarantine/psychology , Social Isolation/psychology , Adult , Aged , Aged, 80 and over , Algorithms , Asian Continental Ancestry Group , China/epidemiology , Female , Humans , Male , Middle Aged , Pandemics , Public Health Surveillance/methods , Social Media , Young Adult
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