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NAQC Newsroom: Research

Mapping Engagement in Twitter-Based Support Networks for Adult Smoking Cessation.

Monday, August 15, 2016  
Posted by: Natalia Gromov
Cynthia M. Lakon, PhD, MPH, Cornelia Pechmann, PhD, MBA, MS, Cheng Wang, PhD, Li Pan, PhD, Kevin Delucchi, PhD, and Judith J. Prochaska, PhD, MPH
Mapping Engagement in Twitter-Based Support Networks for Adult Smoking Cessation.
American Journal of Public Health: August 2016, Vol. 106, No. 8, pp. 1374-1380.
doi: 10.2105/AJPH.2016.303256
We examined engagement in novel quit-smoking private social support networks on Twitter, January 2012 to April 2014. We mapped communication patterns within 8 networks of adult smokers (n = 160) with network ties defined by participants’ tweets over 3 time intervals, and examined tie reciprocity, tie strength, in-degree centrality (popularity), 3-person triangles, 4-person cliques, network density, and abstinence status. On average, more than 50% of ties were reciprocated in most networks and most ties were between abstainers and non-abstainers. Tweets formed into more aggregated patterns especially early in the study. Across networks, 35.00% (7 days after the quit date), 49.38% (30 days), and 46.88% (60 days) abstained from smoking. We demonstrated that abstainers and non-abstainers engaged with one another in dyads and small groups. This study preliminarily suggests potential for Twitter as a platform for adult smoking-cessation interventions.

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