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Using Social Media for Actionable Disease Surveillance and Outbreak Management: A Systematic Literature Review.

Charles-Smith LE, Reynolds TL, Cameron MA, Conway M, Lau EH, Olsen JM, Pavlin JA, Shigematsu M, Streichert LC, Suda KJ, Corley CD - PLoS ONE (2015)

Bottom Line: A social media work group, consisting of surveillance practitioners, academic researchers, and other subject matter experts convened by the International Society for Disease Surveillance, conducted a systematic primary literature review using the PRISMA framework to identify research, published through February 2013, answering either of the following questions: Can social media be integrated into disease surveillance practice and outbreak management to support and improve public health?Can social media be used to effectively target populations, specifically vulnerable populations, to test an intervention and interact with a community to improve health outcomes?Examples of social media included are Facebook, MySpace, microblogs (e.g., Twitter), blogs, and discussion forums.Despite the potential for success identified in exploratory studies, there are limited studies on interventions and little use of social media in practice.However, information gleaned from the articles demonstrates the effectiveness of social media in supporting and improving public health and in identifying target populations for intervention.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Data Sciences and Analytics Group, Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, Richland, Washington, United States of America.

ABSTRACT

Objective: Research studies show that social media may be valuable tools in the disease surveillance toolkit used for improving public health professionals' ability to detect disease outbreaks faster than traditional methods and to enhance outbreak response. A social media work group, consisting of surveillance practitioners, academic researchers, and other subject matter experts convened by the International Society for Disease Surveillance, conducted a systematic primary literature review using the PRISMA framework to identify research, published through February 2013, answering either of the following questions: Can social media be integrated into disease surveillance practice and outbreak management to support and improve public health?Can social media be used to effectively target populations, specifically vulnerable populations, to test an intervention and interact with a community to improve health outcomes?Examples of social media included are Facebook, MySpace, microblogs (e.g., Twitter), blogs, and discussion forums. For Question 1, 33 manuscripts were identified, starting in 2009 with topics on Influenza-like Illnesses (n = 15), Infectious Diseases (n = 6), Non-infectious Diseases (n = 4), Medication and Vaccines (n = 3), and Other (n = 5). For Question 2, 32 manuscripts were identified, the first in 2000 with topics on Health Risk Behaviors (n = 10), Infectious Diseases (n = 3), Non-infectious Diseases (n = 9), and Other (n = 10).

Conclusions: The literature on the use of social media to support public health practice has identified many gaps and biases in current knowledge. Despite the potential for success identified in exploratory studies, there are limited studies on interventions and little use of social media in practice. However, information gleaned from the articles demonstrates the effectiveness of social media in supporting and improving public health and in identifying target populations for intervention. A primary recommendation resulting from the review is to identify opportunities that enable public health professionals to integrate social media analytics into disease surveillance and outbreak management practice.

No MeSH data available.


Related in: MedlinePlus

Number of Studies Addressing Questions 1 and 2, Reviewed in Detail by Year Published (January 2000 –February 2013).
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pone.0139701.g002: Number of Studies Addressing Questions 1 and 2, Reviewed in Detail by Year Published (January 2000 –February 2013).

Mentions: Thirty-two studies were identified as targeting a vulnerable population to improve health outcomes. These studies emphasized interaction with users rather than automatic algorithms and therefore typically contained focused populations and smaller datasets. The study sizes ranged from 19 post-partum women [48] to 155,508 Twitter users from 9 distinct areas [26]. All of the studies included were published in English and 66% (n = 21) were conducted in North America [20,21,25,26,49–65], 12% (n = 4) in Australia [48,66–68], 9% (n = 3) in Asia [41,69,70], and 6% (n = 2) in Europe [1,71]. Most of the studies were classified as exploratory, although 24% (n = 8) of studies did include some type of intervention [1,55,56,58,60,64,69,71]. Populations studied were generally more focused than Question 1 studies, e.g., pregnant smokers in Australia. The study populations dated from January 2000 [1] to February 2012 [66], although many do not disclose study periods. Interestingly, the studies addressing Question 2 first appeared in 2000, but published literature on Question 1 does not appear until 2010. Also, there is a spike in addressing both questions during 2011 (Fig 2).


Using Social Media for Actionable Disease Surveillance and Outbreak Management: A Systematic Literature Review.

Charles-Smith LE, Reynolds TL, Cameron MA, Conway M, Lau EH, Olsen JM, Pavlin JA, Shigematsu M, Streichert LC, Suda KJ, Corley CD - PLoS ONE (2015)

Number of Studies Addressing Questions 1 and 2, Reviewed in Detail by Year Published (January 2000 –February 2013).
© Copyright Policy
Related In: Results  -  Collection

License
Show All Figures
getmorefigures.php?uid=PMC4593536&req=5

pone.0139701.g002: Number of Studies Addressing Questions 1 and 2, Reviewed in Detail by Year Published (January 2000 –February 2013).
Mentions: Thirty-two studies were identified as targeting a vulnerable population to improve health outcomes. These studies emphasized interaction with users rather than automatic algorithms and therefore typically contained focused populations and smaller datasets. The study sizes ranged from 19 post-partum women [48] to 155,508 Twitter users from 9 distinct areas [26]. All of the studies included were published in English and 66% (n = 21) were conducted in North America [20,21,25,26,49–65], 12% (n = 4) in Australia [48,66–68], 9% (n = 3) in Asia [41,69,70], and 6% (n = 2) in Europe [1,71]. Most of the studies were classified as exploratory, although 24% (n = 8) of studies did include some type of intervention [1,55,56,58,60,64,69,71]. Populations studied were generally more focused than Question 1 studies, e.g., pregnant smokers in Australia. The study populations dated from January 2000 [1] to February 2012 [66], although many do not disclose study periods. Interestingly, the studies addressing Question 2 first appeared in 2000, but published literature on Question 1 does not appear until 2010. Also, there is a spike in addressing both questions during 2011 (Fig 2).

Bottom Line: A social media work group, consisting of surveillance practitioners, academic researchers, and other subject matter experts convened by the International Society for Disease Surveillance, conducted a systematic primary literature review using the PRISMA framework to identify research, published through February 2013, answering either of the following questions: Can social media be integrated into disease surveillance practice and outbreak management to support and improve public health?Can social media be used to effectively target populations, specifically vulnerable populations, to test an intervention and interact with a community to improve health outcomes?Examples of social media included are Facebook, MySpace, microblogs (e.g., Twitter), blogs, and discussion forums.Despite the potential for success identified in exploratory studies, there are limited studies on interventions and little use of social media in practice.However, information gleaned from the articles demonstrates the effectiveness of social media in supporting and improving public health and in identifying target populations for intervention.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Data Sciences and Analytics Group, Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, Richland, Washington, United States of America.

ABSTRACT

Objective: Research studies show that social media may be valuable tools in the disease surveillance toolkit used for improving public health professionals' ability to detect disease outbreaks faster than traditional methods and to enhance outbreak response. A social media work group, consisting of surveillance practitioners, academic researchers, and other subject matter experts convened by the International Society for Disease Surveillance, conducted a systematic primary literature review using the PRISMA framework to identify research, published through February 2013, answering either of the following questions: Can social media be integrated into disease surveillance practice and outbreak management to support and improve public health?Can social media be used to effectively target populations, specifically vulnerable populations, to test an intervention and interact with a community to improve health outcomes?Examples of social media included are Facebook, MySpace, microblogs (e.g., Twitter), blogs, and discussion forums. For Question 1, 33 manuscripts were identified, starting in 2009 with topics on Influenza-like Illnesses (n = 15), Infectious Diseases (n = 6), Non-infectious Diseases (n = 4), Medication and Vaccines (n = 3), and Other (n = 5). For Question 2, 32 manuscripts were identified, the first in 2000 with topics on Health Risk Behaviors (n = 10), Infectious Diseases (n = 3), Non-infectious Diseases (n = 9), and Other (n = 10).

Conclusions: The literature on the use of social media to support public health practice has identified many gaps and biases in current knowledge. Despite the potential for success identified in exploratory studies, there are limited studies on interventions and little use of social media in practice. However, information gleaned from the articles demonstrates the effectiveness of social media in supporting and improving public health and in identifying target populations for intervention. A primary recommendation resulting from the review is to identify opportunities that enable public health professionals to integrate social media analytics into disease surveillance and outbreak management practice.

No MeSH data available.


Related in: MedlinePlus