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#Deathbedlive: the end-of-life trajectory, reflected in a cancer patient’s tweets

Overview of attention for article published in BMC Palliative Care, January 2018
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About this Attention Score

  • In the top 5% of all research outputs scored by Altmetric
  • Among the highest-scoring outputs from this source (#13 of 1,092)
  • High Attention Score compared to outputs of the same age (96th percentile)

Mentioned by

2 blogs
99 tweeters
2 Facebook pages
1 Google+ user


20 Dimensions

Readers on

142 Mendeley
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#Deathbedlive: the end-of-life trajectory, reflected in a cancer patient’s tweets
Published in
BMC Palliative Care, January 2018
DOI 10.1186/s12904-018-0273-9
Pubmed ID

Joanna Taylor, Claudia Pagliari


Understanding physical and psycho-social illness trajectories towards the end of life can help in the planning of palliative and supportive care. With terminal patients increasingly seeking and sharing health information and support via social media, it is timely to examine whether these trajectories are reflected in their digital narratives. In this exploratory study, we analysed the Twitter feed of prominent cancer sufferer and physician, Kate Granger, over the final 6 months of her life. With the consent of Kate's widower, Chris Pointon, 1628 Twitter posts from @GrangerKate were manually screened. The 550 tweets judged relevant to her disease were qualitatively content analysed with reference to the six modifiable dimensions of the patient experience in Emanuel and Emanuel's 'framework for a good death'. The frequency of each tweet category was charted over time and textual content was examined and cross-referenced with key events, to obtain a deeper understanding of its nature and significance. Tweets were associated with physical symptoms (N = 270), psychological and cognitive symptoms (N = 213), social relationships and support (N = 85), economic demands and care giving needs (N = 85), hopes and expectations (N = 51) and spiritual beliefs (N = 7). While medical treatments and procedures were discussed in detail, medical information-seeking was largely absent, likely reflecting Kate clinical expertise. Spirituality was expressed more as hope in treatments or "someone out there listening", than in religious terms. The high value of Kate's palliative care team was a dominant theme in the support category, alongside the support she received from her online community of fellow sufferers, friends, family and colleagues. Significant events, such as medical procedures and hospital stays generated the densest Twitter engagement. Transitions between trajectory phases were marked by changes in the relative frequency of tweet-types. In Kate's words, "the power of patient narrative cannot be underestimated". While this analysis spanned only 6 months, it yielded rich insights. The results reflect theorised end-of-life dimensions and reveal the potential of social media data and digital bio-ethnography to shine a light on terminal patients' lived experiences, coping strategies and support needs, suggesting new opportunities for enhancing personalised palliative care and avenues for further research.

Twitter Demographics

The data shown below were collected from the profiles of 99 tweeters who shared this research output. Click here to find out more about how the information was compiled.

Mendeley readers

The data shown below were compiled from readership statistics for 142 Mendeley readers of this research output. Click here to see the associated Mendeley record.

Geographical breakdown

Country Count As %
Unknown 142 100%

Demographic breakdown

Readers by professional status Count As %
Student > Master 24 17%
Researcher 18 13%
Student > Bachelor 14 10%
Student > Ph. D. Student 10 7%
Student > Doctoral Student 9 6%
Other 20 14%
Unknown 47 33%
Readers by discipline Count As %
Nursing and Health Professions 22 15%
Medicine and Dentistry 21 15%
Social Sciences 14 10%
Psychology 13 9%
Business, Management and Accounting 8 6%
Other 15 11%
Unknown 49 35%

Attention Score in Context

This research output has an Altmetric Attention Score of 74. This is our high-level measure of the quality and quantity of online attention that it has received. This Attention Score, as well as the ranking and number of research outputs shown below, was calculated when the research output was last mentioned on 31 October 2021.
All research outputs
of 21,124,412 outputs
Outputs from BMC Palliative Care
of 1,092 outputs
Outputs of similar age
of 398,229 outputs
Outputs of similar age from BMC Palliative Care
of 1 outputs
Altmetric has tracked 21,124,412 research outputs across all sources so far. Compared to these this one has done particularly well and is in the 97th percentile: it's in the top 5% of all research outputs ever tracked by Altmetric.
So far Altmetric has tracked 1,092 research outputs from this source. They typically receive more attention than average, with a mean Attention Score of 9.7. This one has done particularly well, scoring higher than 98% of its peers.
Older research outputs will score higher simply because they've had more time to accumulate mentions. To account for age we can compare this Altmetric Attention Score to the 398,229 tracked outputs that were published within six weeks on either side of this one in any source. This one has done particularly well, scoring higher than 96% of its contemporaries.
We're also able to compare this research output to 1 others from the same source and published within six weeks on either side of this one. This one has scored higher than all of them