142nd APHA Annual Meeting and Exposition

Annual Meeting Recordings are now available for purchase

#EC: Implications for public health practice and research from a content analysis of tweets about emergency contraception

142nd APHA Annual Meeting and Exposition (November 15 - November 19, 2014): http://www.apha.org/events-and-meetings/annual
Tuesday, November 18, 2014 : 10:54 AM - 11:06 AM

Tilly Gurman, DrPH, MPH , Department of Global Health, The George Washington University School of Public Health and Health Services, Washington, DC
Tiffany Clark, MPH , Department of Global Health, The George Washington University School of Public Health and Health Services, Washington, DC
Background: Twitter, a popular social media, helps users around the world quickly share and receive information. The way in which health issues—especially controversial ones such as emergency contraception (EC)—are framed in Twitter can influence perceptions and judgments. Methods: This novel study applied chi-square and regression analyses to all English-language tweets about EC from March 2011 (n=3,537)—representing posts from over 50 countries.  Variables measured type of user characteristics (ie gender), content (ie news, humor), Twitter strategy (ie mention), and special date (ie St. Patrick’s Day). Results: Tweets most frequently focused on news (27.29%), accessing EC (27.27%), and humor (25.61%). Compared to males, females mentioned birth control (c2 =9.18; p=.002) and EC side effects (c2 =5.10; p=0.024) more often than expected. Tweets with a humorous tone (31%) were shared most often, followed by those disclosing personal/vicarious experience (29%). News-related EC tweets had 2.27 times less odds of being shared compared to other tweets (p<0.001). Tweets had greater odds of being sent on the weekend if they mentioned a personal/vicarious experience (OR = 1.91; p < 0.001), sought advice (OR = 1.94; p = 0.01), or expressed humor (OR = 1.56; p < 0.001). Similar patterns were identified for tweets sent around St. Patrick’s Day for personal/vicarious experience (OR = 1.59; p = 0.001), seeking advice (OR = 2.45; p = 0.001), and humor (OR = 1.47; p = 0.005). Conclusion: Study findings offer timely and practical suggestions for reproductive health professionals wanting communicate about EC via Twitter.

Learning Areas:

Communication and informatics
Planning of health education strategies, interventions, and programs
Social and behavioral sciences

Learning Objectives:
Define characteristics of social media, including Twitter. Identify at least two ways which Twitter can be used by public health professionals focused on reproductive health issues. Describe the methodology applied in a content analysis of English-language tweets related to emergency contraception (EC). Explain statistically significant differences found in tweet content and the related implications for public health practice and research.

Keyword(s): Contraception, Social Media

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am a health communication professional with expertise in content analysis as well as sexual/reproductive health. I was the Principal Investigator on this project, in which I supervised 15 graduate students. I also have over 15 years of experience working in reproductive health issues, in a clinical, non-governmental organization, and academic setting.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.