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Start Date

16-8-2018 12:00 AM

Description

Several studies have examined online patient networks from a social network analytic perspective. Conventional methods of analysis of online networks rely on the mechanisms provided by the platform such as “friends” (Facebook), “followers”, “retweets” and “mentions” (Twitter) in order to identify network connections among users. Similar mechanisms have been incorporated into online patient portals as well. However, as an alternative approach, the interactions among the users in such online patient forums can also be used to identify their network connections. This study aims to provide a deeper understanding of the impact of selecting one approach over the other. We delineate the difference between network characteristics of users such as centrality derived from (1) network identified through the existing mechanism of followers and (2) network identified based on the interactions alone (participation in the same thread). This exploration of multiplexed networks provides an insight on how the network characteristics’ impact on the respective user’s popularity differs based on the two identification approaches. The data consists of Parkinson’s disease-related discussions and associated user characteristics collected from a popular online patient network.

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Aug 16th, 12:00 AM

Bi-modal Network Relationships in Online Health Networks

Several studies have examined online patient networks from a social network analytic perspective. Conventional methods of analysis of online networks rely on the mechanisms provided by the platform such as “friends” (Facebook), “followers”, “retweets” and “mentions” (Twitter) in order to identify network connections among users. Similar mechanisms have been incorporated into online patient portals as well. However, as an alternative approach, the interactions among the users in such online patient forums can also be used to identify their network connections. This study aims to provide a deeper understanding of the impact of selecting one approach over the other. We delineate the difference between network characteristics of users such as centrality derived from (1) network identified through the existing mechanism of followers and (2) network identified based on the interactions alone (participation in the same thread). This exploration of multiplexed networks provides an insight on how the network characteristics’ impact on the respective user’s popularity differs based on the two identification approaches. The data consists of Parkinson’s disease-related discussions and associated user characteristics collected from a popular online patient network.