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Word frequency and content analysis approach to identify demand patterns in a virtual community of carriers of hepatitis C.

Vasconcellos-Silva PR, Carvalho D, Lucena C - Interact J Med Res (2013)

Bottom Line: Pre-selection: we identified terms commonly associated to HCV on generic Internet searches (primary Keywords - Kps); Kps were used to identify the most representative HCV communities in a virtual community site (Orkut); all messages published along 8 years on all topics of the community were collected and tabulated; the word frequency was used to construct a "word cloud" (graphic representation of the word frequency) on which was applied a content analysis technique.The present work is a disclosure of preliminary findings considered original and promising.The study of PRD by word frequency may be useful in identifying demands underestimated by other means.

View Article: PubMed Central - HTML - PubMed

Affiliation: Oswaldo Cruz Institute, National School of Public Health, Oswaldo Cruz Foundation, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. pr@ioc.fiocruz.br.

ABSTRACT

Background: Orkut, a Brazilian virtual social network, is responsible for popularization of the Internet among people of low income and educational level. It's observed that rapid growth of virtual communities can be reached by low cost Internet access in community local area network houses. Orkut poses an important social resource for Brazilian patients with chronic conditions like hepatitis C virus (HCV) carriers, who face several obstacles in adapting to everyday difficulties.

Objective: Identify Patterns of Recurring Demands (PRD) expressed in messages posted by members of virtual communities dedicated to HCV carriers.

Methods: Pre-selection: we identified terms commonly associated to HCV on generic Internet searches (primary Keywords - Kps); Kps were used to identify the most representative HCV communities in a virtual community site (Orkut); all messages published along 8 years on all topics of the community were collected and tabulated; the word frequency was used to construct a "word cloud" (graphic representation of the word frequency) on which was applied a content analysis technique.

Results: The most cited terms expressed: search for information about medications (prescribed and "forbidden"); emphasis on counting time, which were interpreted as surviving expectations; frequent mention of God, doctors, and "husbands" (female carriers were 68%). These elements provided material for further research - they will be useful in the construction of categories in discourse analysis.

Conclusions: The present work is a disclosure of preliminary findings considered original and promising. The word frequency/content analysis approach expressed needs of social support and material assistance that may provide subsidies for further qualitative approach and public health policies aimed to HCV carriers. The study of PRD by word frequency may be useful in identifying demands underestimated by other means.

No MeSH data available.


Related in: MedlinePlus

The Community Association Map (CAM) shows interrelationship between communities of users with the Dominant Community and confirm their dominance around a core of common interests.
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figure1: The Community Association Map (CAM) shows interrelationship between communities of users with the Dominant Community and confirm their dominance around a core of common interests.

Mentions: Methodology can be summarized as an incremental Internet search in decreasing dimensions of coverage, as described in detail by Carvalho et al [2]. We employed open access algorithms (Google insights) to identify the most common terms associated to HCV in general searches—referred here as primary Keywords (Kps) as expressions of casual and indistinct interest. Orkut was chosen because of its long existence (established in January 2004) and its popularity in Brazil. In Orkut, thematic discussions are organized into “topics” in which messages are posted. The site also has special features for searching in which Kps were applied to disclose “specialized” (carriers) VCs. The VCs that mentioned any of the Kps at least once were selected. We assessed the "relevance weight" among Orkut HCV communities by choosing the ones in which Kps were more frequent. Associations of Kps applied among the most popular and active VCs can neutralize bias caused by arbitrary choices in the pre-selection process. This criteria is based on other algorithms like “page rank” [3], which estimates the relevance of a site using the number of highest expression links directed to it. From this set of VCs, the most representative were chosen by its time of existence, number of members, and mainly by the Kps frequency in discussions. This Dominant Community was considered for study. The relationship of the Dominant Community with its peers was studied through the Community Association Map (CAM, Figure 1), which defines the interrelationships between communities [4] to portray and confirm their dominance around a core of common interests. We developed scripts to collect and tabulate all messages published on all topics over eight years of the community’s existence. A “word cloud” (in which word’s size is proportional to it’s frequency) was generated in wordle to provide a graphic representation of the word frequency (Figure 2).


Word frequency and content analysis approach to identify demand patterns in a virtual community of carriers of hepatitis C.

Vasconcellos-Silva PR, Carvalho D, Lucena C - Interact J Med Res (2013)

The Community Association Map (CAM) shows interrelationship between communities of users with the Dominant Community and confirm their dominance around a core of common interests.
© Copyright Policy - open-access
Related In: Results  -  Collection

License 1 - License 2
Show All Figures
getmorefigures.php?uid=PMC3713912&req=5

figure1: The Community Association Map (CAM) shows interrelationship between communities of users with the Dominant Community and confirm their dominance around a core of common interests.
Mentions: Methodology can be summarized as an incremental Internet search in decreasing dimensions of coverage, as described in detail by Carvalho et al [2]. We employed open access algorithms (Google insights) to identify the most common terms associated to HCV in general searches—referred here as primary Keywords (Kps) as expressions of casual and indistinct interest. Orkut was chosen because of its long existence (established in January 2004) and its popularity in Brazil. In Orkut, thematic discussions are organized into “topics” in which messages are posted. The site also has special features for searching in which Kps were applied to disclose “specialized” (carriers) VCs. The VCs that mentioned any of the Kps at least once were selected. We assessed the "relevance weight" among Orkut HCV communities by choosing the ones in which Kps were more frequent. Associations of Kps applied among the most popular and active VCs can neutralize bias caused by arbitrary choices in the pre-selection process. This criteria is based on other algorithms like “page rank” [3], which estimates the relevance of a site using the number of highest expression links directed to it. From this set of VCs, the most representative were chosen by its time of existence, number of members, and mainly by the Kps frequency in discussions. This Dominant Community was considered for study. The relationship of the Dominant Community with its peers was studied through the Community Association Map (CAM, Figure 1), which defines the interrelationships between communities [4] to portray and confirm their dominance around a core of common interests. We developed scripts to collect and tabulate all messages published on all topics over eight years of the community’s existence. A “word cloud” (in which word’s size is proportional to it’s frequency) was generated in wordle to provide a graphic representation of the word frequency (Figure 2).

Bottom Line: Pre-selection: we identified terms commonly associated to HCV on generic Internet searches (primary Keywords - Kps); Kps were used to identify the most representative HCV communities in a virtual community site (Orkut); all messages published along 8 years on all topics of the community were collected and tabulated; the word frequency was used to construct a "word cloud" (graphic representation of the word frequency) on which was applied a content analysis technique.The present work is a disclosure of preliminary findings considered original and promising.The study of PRD by word frequency may be useful in identifying demands underestimated by other means.

View Article: PubMed Central - HTML - PubMed

Affiliation: Oswaldo Cruz Institute, National School of Public Health, Oswaldo Cruz Foundation, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. pr@ioc.fiocruz.br.

ABSTRACT

Background: Orkut, a Brazilian virtual social network, is responsible for popularization of the Internet among people of low income and educational level. It's observed that rapid growth of virtual communities can be reached by low cost Internet access in community local area network houses. Orkut poses an important social resource for Brazilian patients with chronic conditions like hepatitis C virus (HCV) carriers, who face several obstacles in adapting to everyday difficulties.

Objective: Identify Patterns of Recurring Demands (PRD) expressed in messages posted by members of virtual communities dedicated to HCV carriers.

Methods: Pre-selection: we identified terms commonly associated to HCV on generic Internet searches (primary Keywords - Kps); Kps were used to identify the most representative HCV communities in a virtual community site (Orkut); all messages published along 8 years on all topics of the community were collected and tabulated; the word frequency was used to construct a "word cloud" (graphic representation of the word frequency) on which was applied a content analysis technique.

Results: The most cited terms expressed: search for information about medications (prescribed and "forbidden"); emphasis on counting time, which were interpreted as surviving expectations; frequent mention of God, doctors, and "husbands" (female carriers were 68%). These elements provided material for further research - they will be useful in the construction of categories in discourse analysis.

Conclusions: The present work is a disclosure of preliminary findings considered original and promising. The word frequency/content analysis approach expressed needs of social support and material assistance that may provide subsidies for further qualitative approach and public health policies aimed to HCV carriers. The study of PRD by word frequency may be useful in identifying demands underestimated by other means.

No MeSH data available.


Related in: MedlinePlus