(HealthDay News) – Analysis of Twitter posts can help explain patient knowledge and inform directions for educational vaccination campaigns, according to a brief report published in the June issue of the American Journal of Infection Control.

Brad Love, PhD, from the University of Texas at Austin, and colleagues conducted a content analysis of Twitter posts about vaccinations, documenting sources, tone, and medical accuracy.

The researchers found that from a set of 6,827 tweets, professional sources were shared most and treated positively. Most of the shared medical content was substantiated (two-thirds). One-third of messages were positive.

“News and health organizations received mostly positive attention in comparison with political or advocacy groups, indicating users are favorably viewing established sources in their health-information seeking,” Love and colleagues write. “In this sample, it appears that Twitter users share mostly reputable information and sources while actively mobilizing others to seek reliable health information. Results of the snapshot can help explain what social media content patients consume and respond to, as well as help determine directions for educational campaigns.”

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