Increasing the quality and impact of Public Health tweeting – looking beyond #ScotPublicHealth

I’m writing this blog in preparation for the European Public Health conference in Stockholm, 1-4 November 2017 (#EPHStockholm). At the conference I will be presenting the #ScotPublicHealth work on quality and impact of tweeting during 2016 (read JPH paper here; please contact me if you do not have access to the article and would like a copy). I have recorded a dry run as a “video abstract” (far from perfect, but useful preparation for the presentation itself). Full slides are available too.

The #ScotPublicHealth work emerged from the Scottish Public Health conference in Peebles, November 2015. It was clear that we should be attempting to network and share better across the Public Health community in Scotland – it was not enough to meet at an annual conference. Colleagues spread across large distances in Scotland did not have an opportunity to meet and discuss topics of mutual interest. I set out to improve connections using Twitter, but quickly learnt that colleagues wanted more advice about tweeting (see write up of #ScotPublicHealth tweet chat January 2016).

cropped-kelpies.jpg

The series of blogs and webinars that we ran around #ScotPublicHealth in 2016 has been described in a series of blogs on this page; these activities were an attempt to learn more about public health topics and social media and internet technology. We looked at physical activity with Prof Chris Oliver, assets based approaches to improving health with Glasgow Centre for Population Health, health inequalities with NHS Health Scotland and Institute of Health Equity, and realistic medicine with Scotland’s Chief Medical Officer and an expert panel.

I compared tweets posted about “public health” in Scotland between September and December 2014 and compared these with tweets using the #ScotPublicHealth hashtag Autumn 2016. There was an increase in the quality of tweets as assessed by the % tweets with an image, URL and/or mention.

quality

There was also an increase in the impact of these tweets as assessed by the % retweeted (and the number of retweets achieved). The greatest impact was seen in tweets that used more than one key component (mention of another Twitter user, image and/or URL).

impact

It is clear from the findings that while general “public health” tweeting has improved, conference tweeting remains an area for improvement. Some people will only tweet on professional matters when prompted, for example at conferences. In my study this group of “conference tweeters” was less experienced than colleagues who had engaged in the #ScotPublicHealth work throughout 2016. Conference tweets in the #ScotPublicHealth study were less likely to include an image (which draws the eye in), a URL (which provides further information), or mention another Twitter user (which helps sharing). There was only a modest increase in quality of tweets between the 2014, 2015 and 2016 conference (⬆pictures, very small increase in use of URL though remained a small minority at 12% in 2016; no increase in mentions of other Twitter users).

The low use of URLs in conference tweets is a feature of other Public Health conferences – eg FPH conference in Telford July 2017EPHVienna conference November 2016 and  APHA conference November 2016. The under-utilisation of URLs at Public Health conferences is a missed opportunity. Microbiologist Jon Otter and colleagues have demonstrated that the URL is important in professional sharing, and this has resulted in very effective and informative tweeting at microbiology conferences (paper in press). If there isn’t a link to a paper, blog or video that explains the findings presented at a conference then people will be less likely to share it on social media. As scientists and clinicians we need to assess the credibility of information before we can assess whether we want to broadcast it.

Continue reading “Increasing the quality and impact of Public Health tweeting – looking beyond #ScotPublicHealth”

Maslow’s hierarchy of needs, rights of the child, and the joy of learning to play music

A policy post here (originally posted on the Get Healthy Start Facebook page, 22 Mar 2015): on helping Scotland to become the best place to grow up. I have been prompted to dig this out after seeing some recent tweets about Maslow’s hierarchy in the workplace and in schools. See these recent tweets here.

This post looks at UN Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC), Maslow’s hierarchy of needs, article 31 of UNCRC, and the particular gains from teaching more kids a musical instrument. Sources at end of post.

Continue reading “Maslow’s hierarchy of needs, rights of the child, and the joy of learning to play music”

Quality Improvement explained in four everyday objects

Quality Improvement (QI) is a powerful approach for exploring and improving the way that healthcare is delivered. However, the technical terms surrounding the methodology can make QI seem inaccessible. This is a pity, as many of the techniques will be familiar to clinicians through their routine work. QI work is simply about making refinements to the way we work, one patient at a time, building a more reliable process, and keeping our sights on a bigger goal.

This blog explains some of the key principles and approaches of QI work, stripped of its jargon, using 4 common objects as an aide-memoire. The formal QI tools on which these objects are based are listed in the notes section at the end of this blog.

If you’d prefer a video summary then you can find a version here (Youtube).

Continue reading “Quality Improvement explained in four everyday objects”

A summary of recent “physical activity” tweets taking a person, topic, organisation, network and campaign approach

Introduction: Readers of this blog will know that I have been looking at extracting public health content from Twitter over the past year. In this analysis I bring together a series of NodeXL social network analyses, extracted over the past 2 days, to look at what they can tell us about physical activity and health. I have termed this a “person, topic, organisation, network and campaign” approach (PTONC – pronounced Pétanque perhaps for this physical activity theme?)

This work was prompted by a request by Ann Gates at ExerciseWorks on Saturday 7 October 2017. ExerciseWorks is a prominent physical activity focused Twitter account based in the UK but with a global reach. Ann was interested in demonstrating her Twitter following to a physiotherapy audience and asked if I could produce a NodeXL map (figure 1). I thought it would be interesting from a CPD perspective to look beyond the interactions shown in figure 1 to look at the contents of the most shared tweets, for ExerciseWorks and other NodeXL searches.

Figure 1: @ExerciseWorks NodeXL map 27 Sep to 7 Oct 2017

exerciseworks to 7 oct.png

Source: NodeXL graph gallery

Continue reading “A summary of recent “physical activity” tweets taking a person, topic, organisation, network and campaign approach”

Public Health advocacy in Scotland during 2017

This blog provides a quick summary of two health/ public health advocacy campaigns in Scotland, both launched at Scottish Parliament during 2017.

Advocacy is an important part of Public Health work. The Public Health Advocacy Institute of Western Australia provides the following definition in their advocacy toolkit:

The word ‘advocate’ actually comes from a Latin word meaning ‘to be called to stand beside’. Advocacy can be thought of as “the pursuit of influencing outcomes – including public policy and resource allocation decisions within
political, economic, and social systems and institutions – that directly affect people’s lives.”

The “State of Child Health” report was launched by Royal College of Physicians and Child Health on 26 January 2017, with events across the UK, including a RCPCH Scotland event at Scottish Parliament. I have summarised the Twitter activity around that day in a “Storify”.

The “Fairer Lives Healthier Future” call to action was launched by the Faculty of Public Health in Scotland on 20 September, with events at the Royal College of Physicians Edinburgh and Scottish Parliament. Twitter activity during and after the launch is summarised in another “Storify“.

Continue reading “Public Health advocacy in Scotland during 2017”