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Low vaccination rates are a #publichealth crisis, leading to outbreaks of deadly diseases like #measles. My new research in Vaccine/@ElsevierNews provides insight into the characteristics of people who post #antivax content on #Facebook:…
First, I want to credit my fantastic co-authors: @MTH_Pitt @emfelter @DrToddWo @ChadTRM @PittPubHealth. This research stemmed from thousands of #antivax comments on a video on the @kidspluspgh Facebook page:…
We used social network, quantitative, and qualitative analyses to examine 25% of people who left these comments. Our goal was to answer questions about who these people are, the information they post, and how they are connected.
Takeaway 1: #socialmedia may facilitate the connection of diverse individuals who are #antivax. Although @kidspluspgh is located in PA, we saw people from 36 US states & 8 countries! Also political diversity, with some supporting Trump and others supporting Bernie.
Takeaway 2: All anti-vaccination posters don't share the same beliefs. Although most people associate #antivax with concerns about #MMR and #Autism, posts about these were less frequent than many other categories.
Takeaway 3: Although arguments are varied, people & topics cluster into 4 subgroups: trust, alternatives, safety, & conspiracy. A better understanding of #vaccine concerns can help #healthcare providers give personalized info.
So, #WhatsNext? We need to tailor messages to sub-groups. For example, telling someone in the trust subgroup that vaccines don't cause #Autism may backfire. #Pediatricians need to understand this when they talk to vaccine-hesitant parents.
Interventions like #HealthLiteracy and #MediaLiteracy are needed to prevent the spread of anti-vaccination messages on social media. Many #antivax memes are emotionally evocative, and people need to have tools to critically examine these images #publichealth
#Health entertainment narratives on #TV can also be used for intervention. TV has the power to influence health knowledge and behavior:…
Health professionals also need to be active on #socialmedia. We need more #tweetatrician, and understand these subgroups and varied beliefs when responding to #antivax messages on #SoMe
Finally, the most powerful tool to increase #vaccination is the patient-provider relationship. This research provides valuable insight to help clinicians better engage with their patients in the exam room. #VaccinesWork #VaccinesSaveLives
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