Mental Health Concerns Related to the COVID-19 Pandemic on Twitter in the United Kingdom
Received Date: Oct 14, 2021 / Accepted Date: Oct 28, 2021 / Published Date: Nov 04, 2021
Background: Amid the COVID-19 pandemic, mental health-related symptoms (such as depression and anxiety) have been actively mentioned on social media.
Objective: In this study, we aimed to monitor mental health concerns on Twitter during the COVID-19 pandemic in the United Kingdom (UK), and assess the potential impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on mental health concerns of Twitter users.
Methods: We collected COVID-19 and mental health-related tweets from the UK between March 5, 2020 and January 31, 2021 through the Twitter Streaming API. We conducted topic modeling using Latent Dirichlet Allocation model to examine discussions about mental health concerns. Deep learning algorithms including Face++ were used to infer the demographic characteristics (age and gender) of Twitter users who expressed mental health concerns related to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Results: We showed a positive correlation between COVID-19-related mental health concerns on Twitter and the severity of the COVID-19 pandemic in the UK. Geographic analysis showed that populated urban areas have a higher proportion of Twitter users with mental health concerns compared to England as a whole. Topic modeling showed that general concerns, COVID-19 skeptics, and Death toll were the top topics discussed in mental health-related tweets. Demographic analysis showed that middle-aged and older adults might be more likely to suffer from mental health issues or express their mental health concerns on Twitter during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Conclusion: The COVID-19 pandemic has noticeable effects on mental health concerns on Twitter in the UK, which varied among demographic and geographic groups.
Keywords: COVID-19 vaccine; Psychotic disease; Olanzapine; Duloxetine; Diazepam; Electroconvulsive therapy
Citation: Xie Z, Zhang D, Liu Y, Zhang S, Sun L, et al. (2021) Mental Health Concerns Related to the COVID-19 Pandemic on Twitter in the United Kingdom. J Infect Dis Ther S5:005.
Copyright: © 2021 Zhang D, et al. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.
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