Social network analysis of an online melanoma discussion group.

Citation:

Durant KT, McCray AT, Safran C. Social network analysis of an online melanoma discussion group. AMIA Jt Summits Transl Sci Proc 2010;2010:6-10.

Date Published:

2010

Abstract:

We have developed tools to explore social networks that share information in medical forums to better understand the unmet informational needs of patients and family members facing cancer treatments. We define metrics that demonstrate members discussing interleukin-2 receive a stronger response from the melanoma discussion group than a typical topic. The interleukin-2 network has a different topology than the melanoma network, has a higher density, and its members are more likely to have a higher intimacy level with another member and a lower inquisitiveness level than a typical melanoma user. Members are more likely to join the interleukin-2 network to answer a question than in the melanoma network (probability =.2 ±.05 p-value=.001). Within the melanoma network 20% of the questions posed to the community do not get an answer. In the interleukin-2 network, 1.3% of the questions (one question) do not get a response.