Using Social Media for Rapid Information Dissemination in a Pandemic: #PedsICU and Coronavirus Disease 2019

Sapna R. Kudchadkar, Christopher L. Carroll

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Objective: To describe the impact of a strategy for international collaboration and rapid information dissemination on Twitter among the pediatric critical care community during a global pandemic. Design: Analysis of #PedsICU and coronavirus disease 2019 Twitter data in the Symplur Signals Database between February 1, 2020, and May 1, 2020. Setting: Social media platform Twitter. Patients: None. Interventions: Promotion of the joint usage of #PedsICU and #COVID19 throughout the international pediatric critical care community in tweets relevant to the coronavirus disease 2019 pandemic and pediatric critical care. Measurements and Main Results: We collected data on all tweets containing the hashtag #PedsICU in addition to those containing both #PedsICU and coronavirus disease 2019 hashtags. Tweets including #PedsICU were shared 49,865 times on six continents between February 1, 2020, and May 1, 2020; between February 1 and March 13, only 8% of #PedsICU tweets included a coronavirus disease 2019 hashtag. After a sharp rise during the week of March 14, 2020, coronavirus disease 2019 content has dominated the #PedsICU conversation on Twitter, comprising 69% of both #PedsICU tweets and impressions (p < 0.001). The most commonly used coronavirus disease 2019 hashtag over the study period was #COVID19 (69%). Proportionately, a greater percentage of #PedsICU tweets including the coronavirus disease 2019 hashtag (vs not) had images or videos (45% vs 41%; p < 0.001). In addition, non-physician healthcare providers were the largest group of users (46%) of the combination of #PedsICU and coronavirus disease 2019 hashtags. The most popular tweets shared on Twitter were open-access resources, including links for updated literature, narrative reviews, and educational videos relevant to coronavirus disease 2019 clinical care. Concurrent hashtags and words in tweets containing #PedsICU and coronavirus disease 2019 hashtags spanned several different disciplines and topics in pediatric critical care. Conclusion: Twitter has been used widely for real-time information sharing and collaboration among the international pediatric critical care community during the coronavirus disease 2019 pandemic. Targeted use of #PedsICU and #COVID19 for engagement on Twitter is a conduit to combat misinformation and optimize reach to pediatric critical care stakeholders across the globe when rapid dissemination is needed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)E538-E546
JournalPediatric Critical Care Medicine
Volume21
Issue number8
DOIs
StatePublished - Aug 1 2020

Keywords

  • Twitter
  • coronavirus
  • coronavirus disease 2019
  • critical care
  • pandemic
  • pediatrics
  • social media

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Critical Care and Intensive Care Medicine

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'Using Social Media for Rapid Information Dissemination in a Pandemic: #PedsICU and Coronavirus Disease 2019'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this