Researchers evaluate behavioral changes in tweets of antidepressant drug users

A group of Spanish researchers at Pompeu Fabra University evaluated behavioral changes in tweets of antidepressant users in a new study publicized in the Journal of Medical Internet Research.

In this publication, the Spanish researchers, led by Ferran Sanz, analyzed a trove of data derived from users on the social networking giant Twitter, who mentioned their use of antidepressant treatment for depressive disorders.

From the data evaluated, the objective was to identify any effects the medication induced and noticeable changes in linguistic patterns in their tweets.

In totality, nearly 670,000 tweets were evaluated, stemming from 186 users on the social platform.

Based on their evaluation of the data, the research group established that during antidepressant treatment the participants’ tweets were longer in depth, however, fewer messages were sent at nighttime.

The study also found more interactions between other users and the spread of tweets exhibiting happiness or euphoria, among the antidepressant users, researchers claimed.

“The use of techniques based on Big Data and text mining, which enable detecting changes in the way in which users interact in their social networks, such as Twitter, can provide us with new opportunities to follow up and monitor patients suffering from one of the most widespread, disabling health problems as is depression,” Sanz, the study’s leading author, concluded in a press release.

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