Social Media Spotlight: Understanding Public Attitudes Toward Colonoscopy on Twitter

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A new study, revealed this week in a poster at ACG 2015, measured public attitudes toward the colonoscopy procedure based on an analysis of over 2,000 tweets by patients.

Researchers took to the Twittersphere, collecting 2,127 tweets that included the word colonoscopy. The results of the study show that of the tweets, only 31% demonstrated a positive perception of colonoscopy, while 69% conveyed a negative attitude.

This is the first study of its kind to use social media to determine patient perceptions of colonoscopy. This study could prove very useful in providing physicians and other health care professionals with information to help them understand their patients.

This analysis can help them answer important questions about why colon cancer screening falls behind screening compliance for other preventable diseases. For example, social media can help medical professionals identify the barriers that stand between patients and their recommended colon cancer screening, and allow them to devise strategies to better educate these patients on the importance of getting screened.

Patients increasingly turn to the internet to educate themselves and engage in public discourse. This provides medical professionals with a huge opportunity to join the online conversation and help correct misperceptions about important - even life-saving - screening procedures.

Perhaps with increased participation among health care professionals and better dissemination of information, we can start changing the predominantly negative public attitude toward colon cancer screening.

More News From #ACG2015

  • A survey study presented this week reveals an alarming deficit in knowledge of basic nutrition and colon cancer risk factors among high school students.
  • Here's an interesting meta-analysis of colorectal cancer screening barriers among minorities in the United States.
  • This study focuses on clinical differences in colon cancers for Hispanics and non-Hispanic whites at one institution over 20 years.
  • Research suggests that obesity increases length of hospital stay and increases the need for medical intervention, but does not increase death risk when it comes to lower gastrointestinal bleeding.

Image Source: The American College of Gastroenterology

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Topics: Colon Cancer News