A Cross-Sectional Review of Cervical Cancer Messages on Twitter during Cervical Cancer Awareness Month

Deanna Teoh, Rida Shaikh, Rachel Isaksson Vogel, Taylor Zoellner, Linda Carson, Shalini Kulasingam, Emil Lou

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations

Abstract

Objectives The objectives of this study were to quantify personal stories about cervical cancer and to determine the proportion and sentiment (positive vs negative) of messages ("tweets") that discussed cervical cancer prevention strategies on Twitter. Methods This study was a cross-sectional Twitter review of English-language top tweets about cervical cancer during the Cervical Cancer Awareness month, January 2016. Theme categories were identified, and tweets were independently coded by 2 reviewers; discrepancies in coding were resolved by a third reviewer. Descriptive statistical analyses were performed. Results During January 2016, approximately 348 top tweets about cervical cancer were identified. Professional health organizations produced 20.7% of tweets, and individuals identifying themselves as health-care professionals contributed an additional 4%. In addition to the tweet, 45.1% attached a photo or video; 54.6% included links to a larger article. Only 11.2% of tweets included personal stories from cervical cancer patients. Among the top tweets, 70.3% were focused on prevention through screening and/or HPV vaccination, with 97.4% recommending such practices. A substantial proportion of the Twitter traffic (24.7%) referenced the #SmearForSmear campaign by the patient-advocate organization Jo's Cervical Cancer Trust, based in the United Kingdom. Conclusions Analysis of top tweets during the cervical cancer awareness month showed that, although personal stories about cervical cancer were rare, cervical cancer prevention was a popular topic during the cervical cancer awareness month. This was largely driven by a picture-based twitter campaign from a single advocacy organization.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)8-12
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of lower genital tract disease
Volume22
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 2018

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
1Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Division of Gynecologic Oncology, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, Minnesota; 2Division of Epidemiology and Community Health, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, Minnesota; and 3Department of Medicine, Division of Hematology, Oncology and Transplantation, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, Minnesota Reprint requests to: Deanna Teoh, MD, University of Minnesota, 420 Delaware Street SE, MMC 395, Minneapolis, MN. E-mail: dkteoh@umn.edu The authors have declared they have no conflicts of interest. Research is supported by the Building Interdisciplinary Research Careers in Women’s Health Grant (No. K12HD055887) and administered by the University of Minnesota Deborah E. Powell Center for Women’s Health. This award is cofunded by the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institutes of Child Health and the Office of Research on Women’s Health. This award is also funded by the Office of the Director, National Institutes of Health, National Institute of Mental Health, and the National Cancer Institute. The content is solely the responsibility of the authors and does not necessarily represent the office views of the cofunders. Research reported in this publication was supported by The Masonic Cancer Center Women’s Health Scholarship sponsored by the University of Minnesota Masonic Cancer Center, a comprehensive cancer center designated by the National Cancer Institute, and administrated by the University of Minnesota Deborah E. Powell Center for Women’s Health. © 2017, American Society for Colposcopy and Cervical Pathology DOI: 10.1097/LGT.0000000000000363

Funding Information:
Two of the authors (D.T. and R.I.V.) are supported by career development awards, which pay for their protected academic time. Other than the authors’ time, none of the research was funded by the NIH Building Interdisciplinary Careers in Women’s Health award (D.T.) or the institutional Masonic Cancer Center women’s health scholarship (R.I.V.). The content of the manuscript is solely the responsibility of the authors and does not represent the views of the funders. The research findings and interpretation of results were not influenced in any way by the funding sources.

Keywords

  • HPV vaccine
  • Twitter
  • cervical cancer
  • social media

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