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Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/1807/25454

Title: Pandemics in the Age of Twitter: A Content Analysis of the 2009 H1N1 Outbreak
Authors: Chew, Cynthia
Advisor: Eysenbach, Gunther
Department: Health Policy, Management and Evaluation
Keywords: public health
social media
microblog
social networking
Twitter
content analysis
Web 2.0
emergency
pandemic
H1N1
Swine Flu
infodemiology
infoveillance
eHealth
Issue Date: 16-Dec-2010
Abstract: This thesis reports on the use of Twitter during the 2009 H1N1 pandemic to explore its use as an “infoveillance” approach complementary to traditional surveys and content analysis.  This study aimed to: 1) report on the use of “H1N1” versus “swine flu”, 2) conduct a qualitative analysis of tweet content, and 3) assess the feasibility of Twitter as a real-time content, sentiment, and public attention trend tracking tool. A manual content analysis of tweets revealed that H1N1 resources were the most commonly shared.  Few tweets provided inaccurate information.  News websites were the most popular resources while official agencies were rarely referenced directly.  Our automated analysis correlated well with manual results and showed that Twitter activity was influenced by external events. This study describes the character and quality of Twitter communications during the H1N1 pandemic, and illustrates the potential of using social media to conduct real-time “infodemiology” studies for public health.
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/1807/25454
Appears in Collections:Master
The Institute of Health Policy, Management and Evaluation - Master theses

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