ResearchPad - Media studies https://www.researchpad.co Default RSS Feed en-us © 2020 Newgen KnowledgeWorks <![CDATA[Evolution Characteristics of the Network Core in the Facebook]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989dae1ab0ee8fa60bbbc5c

Statistical properties of the static networks have been extensively studied. However, online social networks are evolving dynamically, understanding the evolving characteristics of the core is one of major concerns in online social networks. In this paper, we empirically investigate the evolving characteristics of the Facebook core. Firstly, we separate the Facebook-link(FL) and Facebook-wall(FW) datasets into 28 snapshots in terms of timestamps. By employing the k-core decomposition method to identify the core of each snapshot, we find that the core sizes of the FL and FW networks approximately contain about 672 and 373 nodes regardless of the exponential growth of the network sizes. Secondly, we analyze evolving topological properties of the core, including the k-core value, assortative coefficient, clustering coefficient and the average shortest path length. Empirical results show that nodes in the core are getting more interconnected in the evolving process. Thirdly, we investigate the life span of nodes belonging to the core. More than 50% nodes stay in the core for more than one year, and 19% nodes always stay in the core from the first snapshot. Finally, we analyze the connections between the core and the whole network, and find that nodes belonging to the core prefer to connect nodes with high k-core values, rather than the high degrees ones. This work could provide new insights into the online social network analysis.

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<![CDATA[Social Influence in Televised Election Debates: A Potential Distortion of Democracy]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989da4bab0ee8fa60b8cd04

A recent innovation in televised election debates is a continuous response measure (commonly referred to as the “worm”) that allows viewers to track the response of a sample of undecided voters in real-time. A potential danger of presenting such data is that it may prevent people from making independent evaluations. We report an experiment with 150 participants in which we manipulated the worm and superimposed it on a live broadcast of a UK election debate. The majority of viewers were unaware that the worm had been manipulated, and yet we were able to influence their perception of who won the debate, their choice of preferred prime minister, and their voting intentions. We argue that there is an urgent need to reconsider the simultaneous broadcast of average response data with televised election debates.

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<![CDATA[Anger Is More Influential than Joy: Sentiment Correlation in Weibo]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989dacfab0ee8fa60bb5799

Recent years have witnessed the tremendous growth of the online social media. In China, Weibo, a Twitter-like service, has attracted more than 500 million users in less than five years. Connected by online social ties, different users might share similar affective states. We find that the correlation of anger among users is significantly higher than that of joy. While the correlation of sadness is surprisingly low. Moreover, there is a stronger sentiment correlation between a pair of users if they share more interactions. And users with larger number of friends possess more significant sentiment correlation with their neighborhoods. Our findings could provide insights for modeling sentiment influence and propagation in online social networks.

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<![CDATA[Compliance of Disease Awareness Campaigns in Printed Dutch Media with National and International Regulatory Guidelines]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989da52ab0ee8fa60b8e390

Background

The European legislation prohibits prescription-only medicines' advertising but allows pharmaceutical companies to provide information to the public on health and diseases, provided there is no direct or indirect reference to a pharmaceutical product. Various forms of promotion have become increasingly common in Europe including “disease-oriented” campaigns.

Objectives

To explore examples of disease awareness campaigns by pharmaceutical companies in the Netherlands, by assessing their compliance with the World Health Organization (WHO) Ethical Criteria for medicinal drug promotion and the Dutch guidelines for provision of information by pharmaceutical companies.

Methods

Materials referring to health/disease and treatments published in the most widely circulated newspapers and magazines were collected from March to May 2012. An evaluation tool was developed based on relevant underlying principles from the WHO ethical criteria and Dutch self-regulation guidelines. Collected disease awareness advertisements were used to pilot the evaluation tool and to explore the consistency of information provided with the WHO and Dutch criteria.

Findings

Eighty materials met our inclusion criteria; 71 were published in newspapers and 9 in magazines. The large majority were news items but 21 were disease awareness advertisements, of which 5 were duplicates. Fifteen out of the 16 disease awareness campaigns were non-compliant with current guidelines mainly due to lack of balance (n = 12), absence of listed author and/or sponsor (n = 8), use of misleading or incomplete information (n = 5) and use of promotional information (n = 5). None mentioned a pharmaceutical product directly.

Conclusion

Disease Awareness Campaigns are present in Dutch printed media. Although no brand names were mentioned, the lack of compliance of disease awareness campaigns with the current regulations is alarming. There were information deficiencies and evidence of information bias. A key concern is that the context in which the information is provided, mostly through indirect referral, is likely to support treatment with the sponsor's product.

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<![CDATA[Movie Smoking and Youth Initiation: Parsing Smoking Imagery and Other Adult Content]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989d9e2ab0ee8fa60b69db5

Objectives

To isolate the independent influence of exposure to smoking and other adult content in the movies on youth smoking uptake.

Methods

We used discrete time survival analysis to quantify the influence of exposure to smoking and other adult content in the movies on transitioning from (1) closed to open to smoking; (2) never to ever trying smoking; and (3) never to ever hitting, slapping, or shoving someone on two or more occasions in the past 30 days. The latter is a comparative outcome, hypothesized to have no correlation with exposure to smoking in the movies.

Results

Assessed separately, both exposure to smoking imagery and exposure to adult content were associated with increased likelihood of youth becoming open to smoking (OR = 1.09, 95% CI: 1.04–1.15 and OR = 1.10, 95% CI: 1.04–1.17) and having tried smoking (OR = 1.06, 95% CI: 1.00–1.12 and OR = 1.06, 95% CI: 1.00–1.13). Both measures were also separately associated with aggressive behavior (OR = 1.09, 95% CI: 1.04–1.14 and OR = 1.09, 95% CI: 1.04–1.15). A very high correlation between the two measures (0.995, p<0.000) prevented an assessment of their independent effects on smoking initiation.

Conclusion

Although exposure to smoking in the movies is correlated with smoking susceptibility and initiation, the high correlation between exposure to smoking in the movies and other adult content suggests that more research is needed to disentangle their independent influence on smoking.

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<![CDATA[There Is No News Like Bad News: Women Are More Remembering and Stress Reactive after Reading Real Negative News than Men]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989dabdab0ee8fa60baf95d

With the advent of specialized television channels offering 24-hour coverage, Internet and smart phones, the possibility to be constantly in contact with the media has increased dramatically in the last decades. Despite this higher access to knowledge, the impact media exposure has on healthy individuals remains poorly studied. Given that most information conveyed in the media is negative and that upon perception of threat, the brain activates the stress system, which leads to cortisol secretion, we decided to determine how healthy individuals react to media information. Accordingly, we investigated whether reading real negative news (1) is physiologically stressful, (2) modulates one’s propensity to be stress reactive to a subsequent stressor and (3) modulates remembrance for these news. Sixty participants (30 women, 30 men) were randomly assigned to either twenty-four real neutral news excerpts or to twenty-four real negative excerpts for 10 minutes. They were then all exposed to a well-validated psychosocial stressor, the Trier Social Stress Test (TSST), which consists of an anticipation phase of 10 minutes and a test phase of 10 minutes. A total of eight salivary cortisol samples were collected, at 10-minutes intervals, throughout the experimental procedure. One day later, a free recall of the news was performed. Results showed that although reading negative news did not lead to change in cortisol levels (p>0.05), it led to a significant increase in cortisol to a subsequent stressor in women only (p<0.001). Also, women in the negative news condition experienced better memory for these news excerpts compared to men (p<0.01). These results suggest a potential mechanism by which media exposure could increase stress reactivity and memory for negative news in women.

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<![CDATA[“I Can Also Serve as an Inspiration”: A Qualitative Study of the TB&Me Blogging Experience and Its Role in MDR-TB Treatment]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989db1cab0ee8fa60bce723

Background

In 2011, Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) established a blogging project, “TB&Me,” to enable patients with multidrug-resistant tuberculosis (MDR-TB) to share their experiences. By September 2012, 13 MDR-TB patients had blogged, either directly or with assistance, from the UK, Australia, Philippines, Swaziland, Central African Republic, Uganda, South Africa, India, and Armenia. Due to the lack of research on the potential for social media to support MDR-TB treatment and the innovative nature of the blog, we decided to conduct a qualitative study to examine patient and staff experiences. Our aim was to identify potential risks and benefits associated with blogging to enable us to determine whether social media had a role to play in supporting patients with MDR-TB.

Methods and Findings

Participants were identified and selected purposively. TB&Me bloggers, project staff, MSF headquarters staff involved with TB and WHO European Region TB policy advisors were invited to participate in a semi-structured interview. Twenty interviews were conducted (five with bloggers). Data analysis drew upon principles of grounded theory, with constant comparison of data, cases and categories, and attention to deviant cases. We found that the TB&Me blog was associated with identified health benefits, with no reported instances of harm. There were three main findings: blogging was reported as useful for adherence to DR-TB treatment and supportive of the treatment-taking process by all bloggers and project staff; blogging provided support to patients (peer support, shared experience and reduction in isolation); and the blog was perceived as giving patients strength and voice.

Conclusion

The TB&Me blog was seen to be associated with positive identified health and emotional benefits. Component 5 of the Stop TB Global Plan highlights the importance of empowering TB patients and communities. Blogging could be a useful tool to help achieve that ambition.

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<![CDATA[Children Prioritize Virtual Exotic Biodiversity over Local Biodiversity]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989da6dab0ee8fa60b93ac4

Environmental education is essential to stem current dramatic biodiversity loss, and childhood is considered as the key period for developing awareness and positive attitudes toward nature. Children are strongly influenced by the media, notably the internet, about biodiversity and conservation issues. However, most media focus on a few iconic, appealing, and usually exotic species. In addition, virtual activities are replacing field experiences. This situation may curb children knowledge and concerns about local biodiversity. Focusing our analyses on local versus exotic species, we examined the level of knowledge and the level of diversity of the animals that French schoolchildren are willing to protect, and whether these perceptions are mainly guided by information available in the internet. For that, we collected and compared two complementary data sets: 1) a questionnaire was administered to schoolchildren to assess their knowledge and consideration to protect animals, 2) an internet content analysis (i.e. Google searching sessions using keywords) was performed to assess which animals are the most often represented. Our results suggest that the knowledge of children and their consideration to protect animal are mainly limited to internet contents, represented by a few exotic and charismatic species. The identification rate of local animals by schoolchildren was meager, suggesting a worrying disconnection from their local environment. Schoolchildren were more prone to protect “virtual” (unseen, exotic) rather than local animal species. Our results reinforce the message that environmental education must also focus on outdoor activities to develop conservation consciousness and concerns about local biodiversity.

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<![CDATA[Bugging Forecast: Unknown, Disliked, Occasionally Intimate. Bed Bugs in Germany Meet Unprepared People]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989db05ab0ee8fa60bc8003

Bed bugs appear to be feared more than vector insects and other household pests. The reasons for this exaggerated fear are not fully understood. One hypothesis is that the folk knowledge on recognising and controlling bed bugs decreased as bed bugs became rarer in the 1960s and led to irrational perceptions. Here, we examine people’s ability to recognise a bed bug and their response what to do in case of an infestation. We found that 13% of a sample of 391 people in four large German cities recognised a bed bug; 15% of all respondents would call a pest controller in case of bed bug infestation. This results in the pessimistic estimate that 97% of all early-stage infestations could go untreated. We discuss additional scenarios. The effectiveness of efforts to educate people about the presence of bed bugs has never been tested, but our sample is useful to guide future studies. We found three sources of information were associated with increased recognition rates of bed bugs: a) previous contacts with bed bugs (60% recognition), b) knowledge from friends or relatives (25%) and school or education courses (15%). By contrast, people who heard of bed bugs from television, print media or the Internet showed reduced recognition rates. We propose that the former factors be tested for educational interventions. In Germany, the bed bug is an estranged creature to many people, a fact that seems to hinder rational approaches to their control.

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<![CDATA[Media Reporting of Neuroscience Depends on Timing, Topic and Newspaper Type]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989da24ab0ee8fa60b802eb

The rapid developments in neuroscientific techniques raise high expectations among the general public and therefore warrant close monitoring of the translation to the media and daily-life applications. The need of empirical research into neuroscience communication is emphasized by its susceptibility to evoke misconceptions and polarized beliefs. As the mass media are the main sources of information about (neuro-)science for a majority of the general public, the objective of the current research is to quantify how critically and accurately newspapers report on neuroscience as a function of the timing of publication (within or outside of periods of heightened media attention to neuroscience, termed “news waves”), the topic of the research (e.g. development, health, law) and the newspaper type (quality, popular, free newspapers). The results show that articles published during neuroscience news waves were less neutral and more optimistic, but not different in accuracy. Furthermore, the overall tone and accuracy of articles depended on the topic; for example, articles on development often had an optimistic tone whereas articles on law were often skeptical or balanced, and articles on health care had highest accuracy. Average accuracy was rather low, but articles in quality newspapers were relatively more accurate than in popular and free newspapers. Our results provide specific recommendations for researchers and science communicators, to improve the translation of neuroscience findings through the media: 1) Caution is warranted during periods of heightened attention (news waves), as reporting tends to be more optimistic; 2) Caution is also warranted not to follow topic-related biases in optimism (e.g., development) or skepticism (e.g., law); 3) Researchers should keep in mind that overall accuracy of reporting is low, and especially articles in popular and free newspapers provide a minimal amount of details. This indicates that researchers themselves may need to be more active in preventing misconceptions to arise.

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<![CDATA[Factors Associated with Condom Use among Male College Students in Wuhan, China]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989daedab0ee8fa60bbfdbf

Background

Using condoms consistently could prevent unintended pregnancy among young people. This study highlights multiple domains of influence on condom use among male college students in China, including knowledge, attitudes, health services utility on condom use and reproductive health information sources.

Methodology/Principal Findings

To identify factors associated with condom use in Chinese male college students, we examined a sample of 870 sexually experienced male students in seven colleges in Wuhan, China, 2009. 535 (61.5%) of 870 male students reported condom use during their most recent sexual encounter. Male students with steady partners were more likely to use condoms than students with casual partners (adjusted OR = 3.11, 95%CI 2.30–4.20). And positive attitudes toward contraceptive responsibility were associated with greater odds of condom use (adjusted OR = 1.40, 95%CI 1.02–1.92). Only 54(6.2%) and 83(9.5%) of respondents reported that free condoms and reproductive health counseling were available at the student health center. Providing free condoms and reproductive health counseling at the student health central were associated with increased condom use among college students (both P<0.05). In addition, students who gained reproductive health information mainly through websites, television and radio programs were more likely to use condoms than through school education (all P<0.05).

Conclusions

Improving attitudes of male students toward contraceptive responsibility, providing proper reproductive health information through mass media and making free condoms and reproductive health counseling available in school may help increase condom use among college students in China.

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<![CDATA[Is an Idea Different from Cake: Can You Have It and Eat It, Too? A Violation of Permanence in Information Consumption]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989daddab0ee8fa60bbaaff

One of the basic features of information is permanence. This feature states that the consumption of information by one consumer does not affect the availability of that information to other consumers. We present examples in two studies indicating that both laymen and experts of information exchange may be motivated to make choices that violate the permanence feature in accepting (Study 1) and offering (Study 2) information. When they possess, but have not yet consumed information, people may suffer from the appearance of wastefulness. This apparent wastefulness may provide a potential explanation for the observed violation of the permanence feature. Our findings indicate that, as the material age evolves into the information age, information-exchange behavior has not evolved significantly away from material-exchange behavior.

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<![CDATA[Specific Image Characteristics Influence Attitudes about Chimpanzee Conservation and Use as Pets]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989d9d2ab0ee8fa60b6490d

Chimpanzees are endangered in their native Africa but in the United States, they are housed not only in zoos and research centers but owned privately as pets and performers. In 2008, survey data revealed that the public is less likely to think that chimpanzees are endangered compared to other great apes, and that this is likely the result of media misportrayals in movies, television and advertisements. Here, we use an experimental survey paradigm with composite images of chimpanzees to determine the effects of specific image characteristics. We found that those viewing a photograph of a chimpanzee with a human standing nearby were 35.5% more likely to consider wild populations to be stable/healthy compared to those seeing the exact same picture without a human. Likewise, the presence of a human in the photograph increases the likelihood that they consider chimpanzees as appealing as a pet. We also found that respondents seeing images in which chimpanzees are shown in typically human settings (such as an office space) were more likely to perceive wild populations as being stable and healthy compared to those seeing chimpanzees in other contexts. These findings shed light on the way that media portrayals of chimpanzees influence public attitudes about this important and endangered species.

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<![CDATA[Socioeconomic Status and Health Communication Inequalities in Japan: A Nationwide Cross-Sectional Survey]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989dad1ab0ee8fa60bb65e5

Background

Considerable evidence suggests that communication inequality is one potential mechanism linking social determinants, particularly socioeconomic status, and health inequalities. This study aimed to examine how dimensions of health communication outcomes (health information seeking, self-efficacy, exposure, and trust) are patterned by socioeconomic status in Japan.

Methods

Data of a nationally representative cross-sectional survey of 2,455 people aged 15–75 years in Japan were used for secondary analysis. Measures included socio-demographic characteristics, subjective health, recent health information seeking, self-efficacy in seeking health information, and exposure to and trust in health information from different media.

Results

A total of 1,311 participants completed the questionnaire, giving a response rate of 53.6%. Multivariate logistic regression revealed that education and household income, but not employment, were significantly associated with health information seeking and self-efficacy. Socioeconomic status was not associated with exposure to and trust in health information from mass media, but was significantly associated with health information from healthcare providers and the Internet.

Conclusion

Health communication outcomes were patterned by socioeconomic status in Japan thus demonstrating the prevalence of health communication inequalities. Providing customized exposure to and enhancing the quality of health information by considering social determinants may contribute to addressing social disparities in health in Japan.

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<![CDATA[Do Health and Forensic DNA Databases Increase Racial Disparities?]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989dab3ab0ee8fa60bac095

Peter Chow-White and Troy Duster examine the question of whether the "digital divide" in health and forensic DNA databases is contributing to racial disparities.

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<![CDATA[How Are Academic Age, Productivity and Collaboration Related to Citing Behavior of Researchers?]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989da7dab0ee8fa60b9932b

References are an essential component of research articles and therefore of scientific communication. In this study we investigate referencing (citing) behavior in five diverse fields (astronomy, mathematics, robotics, ecology and economics) based on 213,756 core journal articles. At the macro level we find: (a) a steady increase in the number of references per article over the period studied (50 years), which in some fields is due to a higher rate of usage, while in others reflects longer articles and (b) an increase in all fields in the fraction of older, foundational references since the 1980s, with no obvious change in citing patterns associated with the introduction of the Internet. At the meso level we explore current (2006–2010) referencing behavior of different categories of authors (21,562 total) within each field, based on their academic age, productivity and collaborative practices. Contrary to some previous findings and expectations we find that senior researchers use references at the same rate as their junior colleagues, with similar rates of re-citation (use of same references in multiple papers). High Modified Price Index (MPI, which measures the speed of the research front more accurately than the traditional Price Index) of senior authors indicates that their research has the similar cutting-edge aspect as that of their younger colleagues. In all fields both the productive researchers and especially those who collaborate more use a significantly lower fraction of foundational references and have much higher MPI and lower re-citation rates, i.e., they are the ones pushing the research front regardless of researcher age. This paper introduces improved bibliometric methods to measure the speed of the research front, disambiguate lead authors in co-authored papers and decouple measures of productivity and collaboration.

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<![CDATA[Composition and Structure of a Large Online Social Network in the Netherlands]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989daf0ab0ee8fa60bc0e3c

Limitations in data collection have long been an obstacle in research on friendship networks. Most earlier studies use either a sample of ego-networks, or complete network data on a relatively small group (e.g., a single organization). The rise of online social networking services such as Friendster and Facebook, however, provides researchers with opportunities to study friendship networks on a much larger scale. This study uses complete network data from Hyves, a popular online social networking service in the Netherlands, comprising over eight million members and over 400 million online friendship relations. In the first study of its kind for the Netherlands, I examine the structure of this network in terms of the degree distribution, characteristic path length, clustering, and degree assortativity. Results indicate that this network shares features of other large complex networks, but also deviates in other respects. In addition, a comparison with other online social networks shows that these networks show remarkable similarities.

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<![CDATA[Resilience to Leaking — Dynamic Systems Modeling of Information Security]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989da72ab0ee8fa60b954c7

Leaking of confidential material is a major threat to information security within organizations and to society as a whole. This insight has gained traction in the political realm since the activities of Wikileaks, which hopes to attack ‘unjust’ systems or ‘conspiracies’. Eventually, such threats to information security rely on a biologistic argument on the benefits and drawbacks that uncontrolled leaking might pose for ‘just’ and ‘unjust’ entities. Such biological metaphors are almost exclusively based on the economic advantage of participants. Here, I introduce a mathematical model of the complex dynamics implied by leaking. The complex interactions of adversaries are modeled by coupled logistic equations including network effects of econo-communication networks. The modeling shows, that there might arise situations where the leaking envisioned and encouraged by Wikileaks and the like can strengthen the defending entity (the ‘conspiracy’). In particular, the only severe impact leaking can have on an organization seems to originate in the exploitation of leaks by another entity the organization competes with. Therefore, the model suggests that leaks can be used as a `tactical mean’ in direct adversary relations, but do not necessarily increase public benefit and societal immunization to ‘conspiracies’. Furthermore, within the model the exploitation of the (open) competition between entities seems to be a more promising approach to control malicious organizations : divide-et-impera policies triumph here.

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<![CDATA[Why Most Biomedical Findings Echoed by Newspapers Turn Out to be False: The Case of Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989da16ab0ee8fa60b7b354

Context

Because positive biomedical observations are more often published than those reporting no effect, initial observations are often refuted or attenuated by subsequent studies.

Objective

To determine whether newspapers preferentially report on initial findings and whether they also report on subsequent studies.

Methods

We focused on attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). Using Factiva and PubMed databases, we identified 47 scientific publications on ADHD published in the 1990s and soon echoed by 347 newspapers articles. We selected the ten most echoed publications and collected all their relevant subsequent studies until 2011. We checked whether findings reported in each “top 10” publication were consistent with previous and subsequent observations. We also compared the newspaper coverage of the “top 10” publications to that of their related scientific studies.

Results

Seven of the “top 10” publications were initial studies and the conclusions in six of them were either refuted or strongly attenuated subsequently. The seventh was not confirmed or refuted, but its main conclusion appears unlikely. Among the three “top 10” that were not initial studies, two were confirmed subsequently and the third was attenuated. The newspaper coverage of the “top 10” publications (223 articles) was much larger than that of the 67 related studies (57 articles). Moreover, only one of the latter newspaper articles reported that the corresponding “top 10” finding had been attenuated. The average impact factor of the scientific journals publishing studies echoed by newspapers (17.1 n = 56) was higher (p<0.0001) than that corresponding to related publications that were not echoed (6.4 n = 56).

Conclusion

Because newspapers preferentially echo initial ADHD findings appearing in prominent journals, they report on uncertain findings that are often refuted or attenuated by subsequent studies. If this media reporting bias generalizes to health sciences, it represents a major cause of distortion in health science communication.

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<![CDATA[What the Public Was Saying about the H1N1 Vaccine: Perceptions and Issues Discussed in On-Line Comments during the 2009 H1N1 Pandemic]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989da25ab0ee8fa60b80887

During the 2009 H1N1 pandemic, a vaccine was made available to all Canadians. Despite efforts to promote vaccination, the public's intent to vaccinate remained low. In order to better understand the public's resistance to getting vaccinated, this study addressed factors that influenced the public's decision making about uptake. To do this, we used a relatively novel source of qualitative data – comments posted on-line in response to news articles on a particular topic. This study analysed 1,796 comments posted in response to 12 articles dealing with H1N1 vaccine on websites of three major Canadian news sources. Articles were selected based on topic and number of comments. A second objective was to assess the extent to which on-line comments can be used as a reliable data source to capture public attitudes during a health crisis. The following seven themes were mentioned in at least 5% of the comments (% indicates the percentage of comments that included the theme): fear of H1N1 (18.8%); responsibility of media (17.8%); government competency (17.7%); government trustworthiness (10.7%); fear of H1N1 vaccine (8.1%); pharmaceutical companies (7.6%); and personal protective measures (5.8%). It is assumed that the more frequently a theme was mentioned, the more that theme influenced decision making about vaccination. These key themes for the public were often not aligned with the issues and information officials perceived, and conveyed, as relevant in the decision making process. The main themes from the comments were consistent with results from surveys and focus groups addressing similar issues, which suggest that on-line comments do provide a reliable source of qualitative data on attitudes and perceptions of issues that emerge in a health crisis. The insights derived from the comments can contribute to improved communication and policy decisions about vaccination in health crises that incorporate the public's views.

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