Opioids on Twitter: A Content Analysis of Conversations regarding Prescription Drugs on Social Media and Implications for Message Design

Parul Jain, Zulfia Zaher, Imran Mazid

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations

Abstract

As many as 130 lives are lost every day in the United States due to prescription drug misuse. The opioid crisis is gripping the country and disrupting the lives of millions. Not surprisingly, health organizations are desperately seeking solutions to educate and inform people regarding the issue, often seeking the help of various social media platforms. In this study, we do a content analysis of Twitter messages related to opioids in order to understand the factors that are most likely to influence content sharing. Our findings indicate that structure, source, and the actual content of the post all influence the likelihood of the content’s being shared. Specifically, certain types of content enhanced the likelihood of content sharing whereas use of the term “addiction” discouraged retweeting. Theoretical and practical implications for message design are discussed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)74-81
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Health Communication
Volume25
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 2 2020

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