Title

Tanning bed burns reported on Twitter: over 15,000 in 2013

UMMS Affiliation

Department of Medicine, Division of Preventive and Behavioral Medicine; UMass Worcester Prevention Research Center

Publication Date

6-1-2016

Document Type

Article

Disciplines

Behavior and Behavior Mechanisms | Health Communication | Health Information Technology | Public Health | Social Media

Abstract

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.

Rights and Permissions

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

10.1007/s13142-016-0388-6

Related Resources

Link to Article in PubMed

Keywords

Burns, Social media, Surveillance, Tanning beds

Journal/Book/Conference Title

Translational behavioral medicine

PubMed ID

27356997