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What makes a tweet fly? Analysis of twitter messaging at four infection control conferences

journal contribution
posted on 2017-11-01, 00:00 authored by B G Mitchell, Philip RussoPhilip Russo, J A Otter, M A Kiernan, L Aveling
© 2017 by The Society for Healthcare Epidemiology of America. All rights reserved. OBJECTIVE To examine tweeting activity, networks, and common topics mentioned on Twitter at 4 international infection control and infectious disease conferences. DESIGN A cross-sectional study. METHODS An independent company was commissioned to undertake a Twitter 'trawl' each month between July 1, 2016, and November 31, 2016. The trawl identified any tweets that contained the official hashtags of the conferences for (1) the UK Infection Prevention Society, (2) IDWeek 2016, (3) the Federation of Infectious Society/Hospital Infection Society, and (4) the Australasian College for Infection Prevention and Control. Topics from each tweet were identified, and an examination of the frequency and timing of tweets was performed. A social network analysis was performed to illustrate connections between users. A multivariate binary logistic regression model was developed to explore the predictors of 'retweets.' RESULTS In total, 23,718 tweets were identified as using 1 of the 2 hashtags of interest. The results demonstrated that the most tweets were posted during the conferences. Network analysis demonstrated a diversity of twitter networks. A link to a web address was a significant predictor of whether a tweet would be retweeted (odds ratio [OR], 2.0; 95% confidence interval [CI] , 1.9-2.1). Other significant factors predicting a retweet included tweeting on topics such as Clostridium difficile (OR, 2.0; 95% CI, 1.7-2.4) and the media (OR, 1.8; 95% CI, 1.6-2.0). Tweets that contained a picture were significantly less likely to be retweeted (OR, 0.06; 95% CI, 0.05-0.08). CONCLUSION Twitter is a useful tool for information sharing and networking at infection control conferences.

History

Journal

Infection control and hospital epidemiology

Volume

38

Issue

11

Pagination

1271 - 1276

Publisher

Cambridge University Press

Location

Cambridge, Eng.

ISSN

0899-823X

eISSN

1559-6834

Language

eng

Publication classification

C Journal article; C1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal

Copyright notice

2017, The Society for Healthcare Epidemiology of America

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