Analysis of First-Year Twitter Metrics of a Rare Disease Community for Blastic Plasmacytoid Dendritic Cell Neoplasm (BPDCN) on Social Media: #BPDCN

A healthcare social media research article published in Current Hematologic Malignancy Reports, October 23, 2017

Title
Analysis of First-Year Twitter Metrics of a Rare Disease Community for Blastic Plasmacytoid Dendritic Cell Neoplasm (BPDCN) on Social Media: #BPDCN
Authors (alpha)
Andrew A. Lane, Audun Utengen, Michael A. Thompson, Naveen Pemmaraju, Vikas Gupta
Published
October 23, 2017
Journal
Current Hematologic Malignancy Reports
Impact Factor
2.2
DOI
10.1007/s11899-017-0422-x
Pubmed
29064025
Altmetric
A healthcare social media research article published in Current Hematologic Malignancy Reports, October 23, 2017

Abstract

The use of Twitter, one of the most commonly engaged social media platforms in the world, is increasing among the general public. Notably, this trend has also been observed among those involved in the healthcare field. With its ability to readily connect diverse groups of stakeholders in a given area of interest, Twitter has become a focal point for those involved in increasing awareness and information exchange in orphan disease fields. Blastic plasmacytoid dendritic cell neoplasm (BPDCN) is a rare, aggressive hematologic malignancy with generally poor long-term outcomes for adult patients and no standard therapeutic guidelines. Coupled with its low incidence rate, the disease has experienced a number of name changes over the past three decades (e.g., blastic NK cell lymphoma, CD4+CD56+ hematodermic tumor), thereby historically resulting in difficulties in its clinico-pathologic diagnosis and treatment approaches. All of these factors have led to a striking gap in terms of accurate information available to patients and the general public. Therefore, there is an urgent need for the development of more venues for the dissemination of information, particularly online, for this rare cancer. In this context, we began the Twitter medical community, #BPDCN, over a year ago, to help fill this information void. Now, completing its first year of existence, we aimed to analyze the metrics of Twitter use in order to better understand and to describe the characteristics and reach in of #BPDCN, and to determine the feasibility of starting and maintaining a disease-specific hashtag community in a particularly rare cancer.


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Altmetric

The Altmetric Attention Score is based on the attention a research article gets on the internet. Each coloured thread in the circle represents a different type of online attention and the number in the centre is the Altmetric Attention Score. The score is calculated based on two main sources of online attention: social media and mainstream news media.