Presentation Authors: Margaret G. English*, Hatim Thaker, Mary K. Samplaski, Los Angeles, CA
Introduction: Twitter allows for rapid and global information exchange, for both professionals and patients. A 2017 study found that among urologic specialties, Male Infertility had the second highest number of tweets and users. We looked at this group, assessing volume, subject matter, authors, and content of male infertility related discussions on Twitter.
Methods: We queried the Symplur Signals database for tweet activity between 2015 and 2018 for &[Prime]#MaleInfertility&[Prime]. We assessed activity (number of tweets, users and impressions), users (geolocation, influencers) and content (words) from tweets using &[Prime]#MaleInfertility&[Prime]. Content was analyzed over the total time period and by year.
Results: Twitter users came from 109 countries. Most of these were from the USA (Table 1). Excluding articles, prepositions, and conjunctions, the most commonly used words were: &[Prime]infertility&[Prime] (931 times), &[Prime]male&[Prime] (770), &[Prime]amp&[Prime] (715), &[Prime]men&[Prime] (630), &[Prime]fertility&[Prime] (542), and &[Prime]sperm&[Prime] (443). Regarding influencers (calculated to have the largest effect on the hashtag conversation by Symplur), 42% were physicians or health care providers, 17% were hospitals or clinics, and 15% were advocating organizations. Using visual network analysis, Twitter users were seen to operate within isolated subsets of the #MaleInfertility twittersphere, often communicating with the same users, but not often reaching different users. Results by year can be seen in Table 1. Twitter usage (number of tweets and users) for male infertility increased with time. While USA tweets were the most frequent among all time periods, the number of other countries involved and languages in which tweets were written, increased with time.
Conclusions: Twitter use in male infertility continues to grow, both domestically and internationally, suggesting that it is a valuable communication platform. The most commonly used words are &[Prime]infertility&[Prime] and &[Prime]male&[Prime]. Physicians and health care providers are the strongest influencers of Twitter activity, suggesting an opportunity for expanded patient and health care provider engagement. Twitter users tend to operate within their known twittersphere groups, indicating the opportunity to expand Twitter networking and reach new groups.