Abstract 52: The Heart of the Matter: Cardiac Arrest and Public Health Information on Twitter
Background: Despite the increasing use of social media, little is known about how it is used to communicate health-related information. Twitter's 300 million users communicate a variety of information via their “tweets” (140 character messages). We sought to characterize the cardiac arrest specific information being shared.
Methods: A Twitter search engine was used to identify tweets published April 19-May 19 2011 with keywords: “cardiac arrest, CPR, AED, resuscitation, heart arrest, and defib.” A 1% sample of tweets was reviewed independently by three study investigators to characterize content. Tweets were then categorized as relating to cardiac arrest (personal sharing/ information sharing), CPR or AED (personal sharing/ information sharing), health education/news media, or unrelated to resuscitation (e.g., jokes, miscellaneous).
Results: Of 61,053 analyzed tweets, 25% (15,324) included cardiac arrest specific information, (i.e. not miscellaneous). Of this cohort: 14% of tweets referenced cardiac arrest events, 29% referenced CPR performance/AED use, and 57% included cardiac arrest related health education/news media references or links. Of tweets referencing cardiac arrest events (n=2,172), 5% represented personal sharing (e.g. “when I or a family member/friend/ had a cardiac arrest”) and 9% represented information sharing (e.g. arrest location, interventions, guidelines). Of tweets referencing CPR performance or AED use (n=4,465), 23% represented personal sharing (e.g. actual or classroom provision of CPR/AED, likes/dislikes regarding CPR/AED courses) and 6% represented information sharing (e.g., observation of CPR delivery or AED use, commentary regarding hands-only CPR). Tweets (n=8,687) regarding resuscitation specific education or news articles included content such as: advocacy group events, CPR/AED training events, heart health surveys, and reports of celebrities, athletes, and young adults affected by cardiac arrest.
Conclusion: Cardiac arrest related information is discussed on Twitter in a variety of categories, with unique opportunities for healthcare provider information sharing, therapeutic intervention guidance (e.g., CPR/AED provision, therapeutic hypothermia), and medical education.
- © 2011 by American Heart Association, Inc.