An analysis of the #covidpain tweet chat during the first wave of the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020
Introduction: In March 2020, we organized two tweet chats to discuss the COVID-19 pandemic and its impact on people affected by chronic pain. The objective of this study is to evaluate the #CovidPain tweet chat activities that took place at the early stages of the COVID-19 pandemic. Methods: We performed a quantitative analysis of the magnitude, range, engagement, and sentiment of each tweet chat. The data was extracted from Twitter and analyzed in Twitter Analytics and Symplur Signals using frequency and distributions. Then, we conducted a qualitative content analysis of the narrative tweets generated in response to the questions posted during the tweet chats. Results: The two tweet chats attracted 2305 participants, which generated 4351 tweets. The participants were healthcare providers, patient advocates, researchers/academics, and caregivers. COVID-19 had both negative and positive impacts. The negative consequences of COVID-19 included the reduction of physical activity, canceled appointments and treatments, more isolation, deterioration of preexisting mental health problems, and economic consequences. The positive consequences included efficient use of telemedicine, innovative methods for self-management, and at-home interventions. Conclusion: Twitter and tweet chats are useful in involving a diverse group of stakeholders for taking a deep dive into the topical issues relevant to a community that might be disproportionately affected by a public health crisis.