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24.04.2020 | Tracker

UK HCPs protect peers and patients by responding to misinformation

By Laura Marsh

Each month, CREATION.co’s respiratory tracking update brings you the latest insights into the online UK healthcare professional (HCP) conversation regarding respiratory disease.

Conversation around COVID-19 dominated the high level of UK HCP respiratory disease online conversation during March and April. As well as sharing personal experiences from the front lines, one of the key topics of focus for UK HCPs during this time has been the addressing of misinformation about COVID-19 circulating on social media.

 

One topic in which we have seen HCPs addressing misinformation is in the use of personal protective equipment (PPE). In this case, we saw HCPs correcting one another, as a vocal and highly followed UK doctor on social media accused HCPs in UK hospitals of not correctly using PPE to protect themselves. HCPs responded to this with a lengthy discussion thread, strongly encouraging her to remove the post [now deleted] and outlining the correct guidelines for use of specific types of PPE.

https://twitter.com/OutbreakJake/status/1240061172604383232

Another topic of misinformation that saw UK HCPs frustratedly correcting advice was around the symptom management of existing respiratory patients. After widespread claims on social media that asthma and COPD sufferers should receive a so-called ‘rescue pack’ to manage their condition during the pandemic, HCPs aligned with professional organisations such as the Health and Social Care Board of Northern Ireland to assure patients that this is not necessary for most sufferers, and that patients should not contact their GP surgery to ask about receiving one.

UK HCPs also attempted to direct patients to trusted sources of health information amongst all of the noise, and discouraged COVID-19 patients from listening to misinformed advice from celebrities or non-healthcare professionals. HCPs encouraged patients to use telecommunications to contact their primary care doctor to receive accurate health advice.

Each month, we track the HCP conversation relating to respiratory disease and this month we have seen UK HCPs consistently using Twitter as a platform to address misinformation from various sources being provided about COVID-19.

You can keep up to date with this and other pharmaceutical tracking updates, including drug approvals within the Tracking section of CREATION Knowledge, or sign up to receive our monthly eJournal with all of our latest HCP insights.


READ THE PREVIOUS RESPIRATORY TRACKER:

UK HCPs continue to educate on the coronavirus


Methodology

  • This article analysed the Twitter conversations of HCPs in the UK, discussing respiratory disease and related terms between February 21 and April 20 2020, using CREATION Pinpoint®.
  • Between February 21 and April 20 2020, there were 19,963 UK HCP mentions of respiratory disease and related terms, from 7,116 unique UK HCP authors. 

 

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Meet the Author

Laura Marsh

Laura leads projects within the Insights team, analysing online conversations to understand the unmet needs of healthcare professionals. She also heads up the graduate scheme, from recruitment right through to implementation. In her spare time, Laura loves playing and watching netball as well as doing increasingly large jigsaw puzzles!

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