Research Output
Impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on audiology service delivery: Observational study of the role of social media in patient communication
  The Covid-19 pandemic has highlighted an era in hearing health care that necessitates a comprehensive rethinking of audiology service delivery. There has been a significant increase in the number of individuals with hearing loss who seek information online. An estimated 430 million individuals worldwide suffer from hearing loss, including 11 million in the United Kingdom. The objective of this study was to identify National Health Service (NHS) audiology service social media posts and understand how they were used to communicate service changes within audiology departments at the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic. Facebook and Twitter posts relating to audiology were extracted over a six week period (March 23 to April 30 2020) from the United Kingdom. We manually filtered the posts to remove those not directly linked to NHS audiology service communication. The extracted data was then geospatially mapped, and themes of interest were identified via a manual review. We also calculated interactions (likes, shares, comments) per post to determine the posts’ efficacy. A total of 981 Facebook and 291 Twitter posts were initially mined using our keywords, and following filtration, 174 posts related to NHS audiology change of service were included for analysis. The results were then analysed geographically, along with an assessment of the interactions and sentiment analysis within the included posts. NHS Trusts and Boards should consider incorporating and promoting social media to communicate service changes. Users would be notified of service modifications in real-time, and different modalities could be used (e.g. videos), resulting in a more efficient service.

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  • Date:

    25 April 2024

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  • Funders:

    EPSRC Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council


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