Tanning bed burns reported on Twitter: over 15,000 in 2013
Department of Medicine, Division of Preventive and Behavioral Medicine; UMass Worcester Prevention Research Center
Behavior and Behavior Mechanisms | Health Communication | Health Information Technology | Public Health | Social Media
Few surveillance tools exist for monitoring tanning bed injuries. Twitter data were examined to identify and describe reports of tanning bed-caused burns. Tweets sent in 2013 containing keywords for tanning bed use and burning were content analyzed to determine whether a burn caused by a tanning bed was described, and additional data on tanning behavior and burn characteristics were extracted. After content assessment, 15,178 (64 %) tweets were found to describe a tanning bed-caused burn. Sites most reportedly burnt were buttocks (n = 3117), face/head (n = 1020), and chest/breast (n = 546). Alarmingly, 200 burns to the eyes/eyelids were mentioned. A total of 456 tweets described burning > 1 time from a tanning bed. A total of 211 tweets mentioned falling asleep inside the tanning bed. In 2013, over 15,000 tweets reported tanning bed-caused burns. Twitter data provides unique insight into tanning behaviors and injuries not captured through traditional public health surveillance.
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Citation: Transl Behav Med. 2016 Jun;6(2):271-6. doi: 10.1007/s13142-016-0388-6. Link to article on publisher's site
DOI of Published Version
Burns, Social media, Surveillance, Tanning beds
Translational behavioral medicine
Seidenberg, Andrew B.; Pagoto, Sherry L.; Vickey, Theodore A.; Linos, Eleni; Wehner, Mackenzie R.; Dalla Costa, Renata; and Geller, Alan C., "Tanning bed burns reported on Twitter: over 15,000 in 2013" (2016). Open Access Articles. 2829.