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Twitter: a viable medium for daily pain diaries in chronic orofacial pain?

Lookup NU author(s): Charlotte Bowes, Dr Matthew Breckons, Professor Justin DurhamORCiD


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Objective The aim of this study was to find out if Twitter could be used in a research context as a ubiquitous piece of software to record daily pain. Design This study was a feasibility study conducted electronically. Setting Our research was conducted on Twitter in 2014. Subjects and methods Participants were recruited via electronic advertising and consented electronically to participate. At three time-points on two non-sequential days participants were asked to record pain, mood and impact ratings on a numerical scale (0-10). Data were extracted manually. Results Thirty-five individuals consented to participate. Of the 24 participants providing data, 16 provided enough data to be analysed. The majority of participants were female. The mean age was 44.9 (+/- 0.78) years and the most common diagnosis for participants was Trigeminal Neuralgia. Participants lived in the UK, USA, Canada and New Zealand. An increase in mean pain was reported over consecutive time periods on both days while mood and impact patterns varied between days. Conclusion Our study highlighted that participants can be recruited solely via social media and has ascertained the ease in which data can be collected without technical expertise. To achieve greater participation, differing advertisement strategies should be explored.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Parsons CF, Breckons M, Durham J

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: British Dental Journal

Year: 2015

Volume: 219

Issue: 2

Pages: 75-78

Print publication date: 24/07/2015

Acceptance date: 28/04/2015

ISSN (print): 0007-0610

ISSN (electronic): 1476-5373

Publisher: Nature Publishing Group


DOI: 10.1038/sj.bdj.558


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Funder referenceFunder name
616National Institute for Health Research
617National Institute for Health Research
NIHR-CS-011-003Department of Health
NIHR-CS-011-003National Institute for Health Research