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Mental health-related conversations on social media and crisis episodes: a time-series regression analysis

Kolliakou, A; Bakolis, I; Chandran, D; Derczynski, L; Werbeloff, N; Osborn, DPJ; Bontcheva, K; (2020) Mental health-related conversations on social media and crisis episodes: a time-series regression analysis. Scientific Reports , 10 , Article 1342. 10.1038/s41598-020-57835-9. Green open access

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Abstract

We aimed to investigate whether daily fluctuations in mental health-relevant Twitter posts are associated with daily fluctuations in mental health crisis episodes. We conducted a primary and replicated time-series analysis of retrospectively collected data from Twitter and two London mental healthcare providers. Daily numbers of ‘crisis episodes’ were defined as incident inpatient, home treatment team and crisis house referrals between 2010 and 2014. Higher volumes of depression and schizophrenia tweets were associated with higher numbers of same-day crisis episodes for both sites. After adjusting for temporal trends, seven-day lagged analyses showed significant positive associations on day 1, changing to negative associations by day 4 and reverting to positive associations by day 7. There was a 15% increase in crisis episodes on days with above-median schizophrenia-related Twitter posts. A temporal association was thus found between Twitter-wide mental health-related social media content and crisis episodes in mental healthcare replicated across two services. Seven-day associations are consistent with both precipitating and longer-term risk associations. Sizes of effects were large enough to have potential local and national relevance and further research is needed to evaluate how services might better anticipate times of higher risk and identify the most vulnerable groups.

Type: Article
Title: Mental health-related conversations on social media and crisis episodes: a time-series regression analysis
Location: England
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1038/s41598-020-57835-9
Publisher version: https://doi.org/10.1038/s41598-020-57835-9
Language: English
Additional information: This article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, which permits use, sharing, adaptation, distribution and reproduction in any medium or format, as long as you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons license, and indicate if changes were made. The images or other third party material in this article are included in the article’s Creative Commons license, unless indicated otherwise in a credit line to the material. If material is not included in the article’s Creative Commons license and your intended use is not permitted by statutory regulation or exceeds the permitted use, you will need to obtain permission directly from the copyright holder. To view a copy of this license, visit http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/.
Keywords: Epidemiology, Human behaviour
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences > Division of Psychiatry
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10092208
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