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Use of Twitter to Assess Viewer Reactions to the Medical Drama, Code Black

Hoffman, Beth L. and Rosenthal, EL and Colditz, JB and Mcgarry, R and Primack, BA (2018) Use of Twitter to Assess Viewer Reactions to the Medical Drama, Code Black. Journal of Health Communication, 23 (3). pp. 244-253. ISSN 1081-0730

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Fictional medical television programs are popular with viewers and have been shown to influence health-related outcomes. We sought to systematically analyze real-time viewer discourse on Twitter related to the new medical drama Code Black. We retrieved all Twitter posts (tweets) and meta-data around the time of the airing of Code Black for four consecutive weeks. We developed a codebook using both content assessment of Twitter messages (tweets) and theory-based variables used in entertainment education analyses. We coded all tweets that occurred during the Eastern Standard Time (EST) airing of the program. Tweets that fell into at least one coding category were further analyzed by two independent researchers. We collected a total of 19,369 tweets, with 54% of total tweets originating during the EST airing of the program. There were 1,888 tweets that fit into one or more of six broad coding categories. Qualitative analysis revealed several key themes including real-life motivation to pursue health sciences careers based on the program, engagement regarding medical accuracy, and respect for the nursing profession. Examination of tweets related to Code Black provides insight into viewer discourse and suggests that Twitter may provide a vehicle for leveraging program engagement into real-life discussion and inquiry.


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Item Type: Article
Status: Published
CreatorsEmailPitt UsernameORCID
Hoffman, Beth L.blh72@pitt.eduBLH72
Rosenthal, EL
Colditz, JBjbc28@pitt.eduJBC28
Mcgarry, R
Primack, BAbprimack@pitt.eduBPRIMACK
Centers: Other Centers, Institutes, Offices, or Units > Center for Research on Media, Technology, and Health
Date: 2018
Journal or Publication Title: Journal of Health Communication
Volume: 23
Number: 3
Page Range: pp. 244-253
DOI or Unique Handle: 10.1080/10810730.2018.1426660
Schools and Programs: School of Medicine > Family Medicine
Refereed: Yes
ISSN: 1081-0730
Official URL:
Article Type: Research Article
Date Deposited: 01 Nov 2018 13:28
Last Modified: 19 Jul 2019 05:15


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