Content Analysis of Tweets of Pregnant Women with Diabetes

Iris Thiele Isip-Tan,1 Helen V. Madamba2 and Rene James P. Balandra Jr.3

1Department of Medicine, College of Medicine and
Philippine General Hospital, University of the Philippines Manila
2 College of Medicine, Cebu Doctors University
3National Telehealth Center, National Institutes of Health, University of the Philippines Manila

Objectives: Describe health beliefs of pregnant women with diabetes using tweets. Describe how information on diabetes in pregnancy is shared on Twitter.

Methods: Tweets by women with diabetes were identified from Symplur Signals. “Status” tweets were mapped to the Health Belief Model. Tweets by women with preexisting diabetes and gestational diabetes (GD) were analyzed separately. Links within tweets were surveyed for the Health on the Net (HON) Foundation seal.

Results: Women with GD tweeted about cravings and the connection of high carbohydrate meals with big babies. Perceived barriers included food restriction, hunger, lab tests, clinic consults and blood glucose monitoring. Perceived benefits of blood glucose testing and a healthy diet were linked to healthy babies. Blood glucose monitoring, weight gain, and age of gestation were cues to action. Perceived barriers of women with preexisting diabetes were feelings of helplessness, loss of control, and anger. Nine domains (9.7%) had the HON Code seal. Women with preexisting diabetes shared blog posts. Women with GD shared links from organizations.

Conclusion: Women with GD and preexisting diabetes had differing perceptions of susceptibility, severity, barriers, benefits, cues to action, and self-efficacy; and shared links to information differently on Twitter.

Key Words: gestational diabetes, pregestational diabetes, Twitter, health belief model