Tweeting on dementia: A snapshot of the content and sentiment of tweets associated with dementia
This study aimed to record and characterise tweets related to dementia, to investigate their content and sentiment. Data were extracted from Twitter over a period of six weeks during February and March 2019 and then analysed using Linguistic Inquiry and Word Count (LIWC) and AntWordProfiler. Using five search terms related to dementia, this study collected 860,383 tweets (more than 27 million words). Results have shown that out of all the collected tweets, 48.63 percent of tweets related to the search term ‘dementia’, 49.95 percent to ‘Alzheimer’s disease’ and the remainder related to frontotemporal dementia, Lewy Body dementia and vascular dementia. People wrote more positively and personally about the term ‘dementia’ than the other terms, and more technically regarding the term ‘Alzheimer’s disease’. All search terms had a negative emotional tone overall. Dementia and related terms are commonly discussed on Twitter. The overall negative emotional tone associated with all dementia related search terms suggests that dementia is still largely stigmatised and talked about negatively. Recommendations for future research include the development of a health world list or a dementia world list, and to consider how the results of this research inform social change interventions going forwards.
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