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The popularity of social media sites and the ease at which its data is available means these platforms are increasingly becoming primary sources for social research. Wasim Ahmedpresents a quick look at some of the tools available to social scientists for analysing social media data and also reflects on the limitations of the platforms and the methods used for this type of research.
I have a social media research blog where I find and write about tools that can be used to capture and analyse data from social media platforms. My PhD looks at Twitter data for health, such as the Ebola outbreak in West Africa. I am increasingly asked why I am looking at Twitter, and what tools and methods there are of capturing and analysing data from other platforms such as Facebook, or even less traditional platforms such as Amazon book reviews.
WHAT ARE PHYSICIAN RATING SYSTEMS?Online scoring systems are available that attempt to rate clinicians’ expertise and outcomes. These include Medicare’s Physician Compare (, Consumers’ Checkbook’s Surgeon Ratings (, and Propublica’s Surgeon Scorecard ( Physician Compare has basic information about a physician’s qualifications and some clinical outcomes information (like how many patients in a clinician’s practice have good diabetes control). Consumers’ Checkbook and ProPublica attempt to display how often patients have complications after their operations.
This article provides an analysis of the relationship between annual advertising expenditures and sales, using a time series regression procedure, for beer, wine, and liquor sold in the United States from 1971 to 2012. Information from these four decades provides a comprehensive analysis of the relationships of numerous variables with aggregate alcohol category sales. Even though per capita alcohol consumption has not changed much throughout this period, alcohol advertising media expenditures for all alcohol beverages have increased almost 400% since 1971. This study has provided evidence of consumption changes across categories of alcohol beverages over the past 40-plus years with the preponderance of those changes significantly correlated to fluctuations in demography, taxation and income levels – not advertising.
Everyday social media posts may provide insights about health, health outcomes and the quality of care at hospitals, according to two new studies published in the journal BMJ Quality & Safety.
The first study, by a research team at Boston Children's Hospital, examined whether the information that patients post on Twitter might help measure patient-perceived quality of care in U.S. hospitals.
Researchers, led by Jared Hawkins of Boston Children's Hospital's Computational Health Informatics Program and Boston Children's Chief Innovation Officer John Brownstein, Ph.D., wanted to see if they could use Twitter to supplement survey-based methods that measure patient experienceand quality in an inpatient setting.

"The main problems with measuring patient experience by survey are the small numbers of people who respond to surveys and the lag time," says Hawkins in a study announcement emailed to FierceHealthcare. "It can take up to two years before survey data are released to the public."
In 2013, Angelina Jolie's double mastectomy and publication of her personal treatment choice for BRCA1 positivity generated considerable media attention. To the authors’ knowledge, the current study is the first prospective survey conducted among the general public to measure a quantifiable media-related effect on public awareness.

To the best of the authors’ knowledge, this is the first prospective study to demonstrate a statistically significant impact of a celebrity announcement on public awareness regarding breast cancer treatment. The results underscore the importance of a media-related impact for professionals in the health care sector, which can serve as a tipping point for raising awareness and improving knowledge concerning a specific disease among the general public. Cancer 2015. © 2015 American Cancer Society.
From - Today, 11:01 PML'intervento dal titolo "Insegnare e apprendere per EAS (Episodi di Apprendimento Situato).