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Article

A Study of the Effects of the COVID-19 Pandemic on the Experience of Back Pain Reported on Twitter® in the United States: A Natural Language Processing Approach

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Department of Industrial Engineering and Management Systems, University of Central Florida, Orlando, FL 32816, USA
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Center for Latin-American Logistics Innovation, LOGyCA, Bogota 110111, Colombia
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Department of Industrial Engineering, College of Engineering, Taif University, P.O. Box 11099, Taif 21944, Saudi Arabia
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MATIM, Université de Reims Champagne-Ardenne, 51100 Reims, France
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Department of Cognitive Neuroscience and Neuroergonomics, Institute of Applied Psychology, Jagiellonian University, 30-252 Kraków, Poland
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editors: Nicola Magnavita and Pasquale Caponnetto
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18(9), 4543; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph18094543
Received: 21 March 2021 / Revised: 21 April 2021 / Accepted: 22 April 2021 / Published: 25 April 2021
The COVID-19 pandemic has changed our lifestyles, habits, and daily routine. Some of the impacts of COVID-19 have been widely reported already. However, many effects of the COVID-19 pandemic are still to be discovered. The main objective of this study was to assess the changes in the frequency of reported physical back pain complaints reported during the COVID-19 pandemic. In contrast to other published studies, we target the general population using Twitter as a data source. Specifically, we aim to investigate differences in the number of back pain complaints between the pre-pandemic and during the pandemic. A total of 53,234 and 78,559 tweets were analyzed for November 2019 and November 2020, respectively. Because Twitter users do not always complain explicitly when they tweet about the experience of back pain, we have designed an intelligent filter based on natural language processing (NLP) to automatically classify the examined tweets into the back pain complaining class and other tweets. Analysis of filtered tweets indicated an 84% increase in the back pain complaints reported in November 2020 compared to November 2019. These results might indicate significant changes in lifestyle during the COVID-19 pandemic, including restrictions in daily body movements and reduced exposure to routine physical exercise. View Full-Text
Keywords: COVID-19 pandemics; back pain reports; Twitter; natural language processing COVID-19 pandemics; back pain reports; Twitter; natural language processing
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MDPI and ACS Style

Fiok, K.; Karwowski, W.; Gutierrez, E.; Saeidi, M.; Aljuaid, A.M.; Davahli, M.R.; Taiar, R.; Marek, T.; Sawyer, B.D. A Study of the Effects of the COVID-19 Pandemic on the Experience of Back Pain Reported on Twitter® in the United States: A Natural Language Processing Approach. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18, 4543. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph18094543

AMA Style

Fiok K, Karwowski W, Gutierrez E, Saeidi M, Aljuaid AM, Davahli MR, Taiar R, Marek T, Sawyer BD. A Study of the Effects of the COVID-19 Pandemic on the Experience of Back Pain Reported on Twitter® in the United States: A Natural Language Processing Approach. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health. 2021; 18(9):4543. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph18094543

Chicago/Turabian Style

Fiok, Krzysztof, Waldemar Karwowski, Edgar Gutierrez, Maham Saeidi, Awad M. Aljuaid, Mohammad R. Davahli, Redha Taiar, Tadeusz Marek, and Ben D. Sawyer. 2021. "A Study of the Effects of the COVID-19 Pandemic on the Experience of Back Pain Reported on Twitter® in the United States: A Natural Language Processing Approach" International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health 18, no. 9: 4543. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph18094543

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