Hashtag #TBI: A content and network data analysis of tweets about Traumatic Brain Injury

Publication Type:
Journal Article
Brain Injury, 2018, 32 (1), pp. 49 - 63
Issue Date:
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© 2017 Taylor & Francis Group, LLC. Objective: The aims of this study were to: (a) determine how Twitter is used by people with traumatic brain injury (TBI) and TBI organisations, (b) analyse the Twitter networks and content of tweets tagged with TBI-related hashtags, and (c) identify any challenges people with TBI encounter in using Twitter. Research Design: Mixed methods in a Twitter hashtag study. Methods: Mixed methods in a Twitter hashtag study. Tweets tagged with TBI-related hashtags were harvested from the Twitter website over a one-month period in 2016 and analysed qualitatively and quantitatively. Results: The sample of 29,199 tweets included tweets sent by 893 @users, 219 of whom had a brain injury. Twitter was used to: (a) discuss health issues, (b) raise awareness of TBI, (c) talk about life after TBI, (d) talk about sport and concussion, and (e) communicate inspirational messages. Conclusions: Twitter is an important platform for research and knowledge translation on TBI, and for hearing the voices of people with TBI as they express their personal views and stories of living with TBI and become more visible and influential in Twitter communities. TBI clinicians could use these narratives of people with TBI in Twitter to develop more effective and personally meaningful rehabilitation goals.
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