Assessing Public Opinion of Plastic Surgery through Twitter's Lens
Can Twitter provide insight into the public's opinion of plastic surgery? Class of 2017 alumni Ross Sayadi, M.D., and Mustafa Chopan, M.D., conducted a study in collaboration with Assistant Professor and Division Chief of Plastic, Reconstructive and Cosmetic Surgery Kevin Maguire, M.D., and UVM data scientist and recent doctoral degree recipient Eric Clark, Ph.D., to investigate this issue.
Using the UVM Computational Story Lab's hedonometer, which surveys the country’s tweets daily and calculates a happiness score for each, they analyzed more than one million tweets for plastic surgery-related keywords, including "plastic," "aesthetic," "cosmetic," and "reconstruction" surgery and calculated the sentiment communicated through these tweets. While "plastic" had negative sentiment associated with it, while the other keywords had more positive associations.
"Our findings show that we must work to educate the public on diversity of the beautiful field we call plastic surgery," tweeted Sayadi following the publishing of the team's paper.
The group's results are published in the April 2019 issue of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery. Read the study abstract here.Watch a Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery "Hot Topics" video commentary about the paper.