Social Media Listening to Understand the Lived Experience of Presbyopia:Systematic Search and Content Analysis Study


BACKGROUND: Presbyopia is defined as the age-related deterioration of near vision over time which is experienced in over 80% of people aged 40 years or older. Individuals with presbyopia have difficulty with tasks that rely on near vision. It is not currently possible to stop or reverse the aging process that causes presbyopia; generally, it is corrected with glasses, contact lenses, surgery, or the use of a magnifying glass. OBJECTIVE: This study aimed to explore how individuals used social media to describe their experience of presbyopia with regard to the symptoms experienced and the impacts of presbyopia on their quality of life. METHODS: Social media sources including Twitter, forums, blogs, and news outlets were searched using a predefined search string relating to symptoms and impacts of presbyopia. The data that were downloaded, based on the keywords, underwent manual review to identify relevant data points. Relevant posts were further manually analyzed through a process of data tagging, categorization, and clustering. Key themes relating to symptoms, impacts, treatment, and lived experiences were identified. RESULTS: A total of 4456 social media posts related to presbyopia were identified between May 2017 and August 2017. Using a random sampling methodology, we selected 2229 (50.0%) posts for manual review, with 1470 (65.9%) of these 2229 posts identified as relevant to the study objectives. Twitter was the most commonly used channel for discussions on presbyopia compared to forums and blogs. The majority of relevant posts originated in Spain (559/1470, 38.0%) and the United States (426/1470, 29.0%). Of the relevant posts, 270/1470 (18.4%) were categorized as posts written by individuals who have presbyopia, of which 37 of the 270 posts (13.7%) discussed symptoms. On social media, individuals with presbyopia most frequently reported experiencing difficulty reading small print (24/37, 64.9%), difficulty focusing on near objects (15/37, 40.5%), eye strain (12/37, 32.4%), headaches (9/37, 24.3%), and blurred vision (8/37, 21.6%). 81 of the 270 posts (30.0%) discussed impacts of presbyopia-emotional burden (57/81, 70.4%), functional or daily living impacts (46/81, 56.8%), such as difficulty reading (46/81, 56.8%) and using electronic devices (21/81, 25.9%), and impacts on work (3/81, 3.7%). CONCLUSIONS: Findings from this social media listening study provided insight into how people with presbyopia discuss their condition online and highlight the impact of presbyopia on individuals' quality of life. The social media listening methodology can be used to generate insights into the lived experience of a condition, but it is recommended that this research be combined with prospective qualitative research for added rigor and for confirmation of the relevance of the findings.

Publication DOI:
Divisions: College of Health & Life Sciences > School of Optometry > Optometry
Additional Information: ©James S Wolffsohn, Claudia Leteneux-Pantais, Sima Chiva-Razavi, Sarah Bentley, Chloe Johnson, Amy Findley, Chloe Tolley, Rob Arbuckle, Jyothi Kommineni, Nishith Tyagi. Originally published in the Journal of Medical Internet Research (, 21.09.2020.
Uncontrolled Keywords: infodemiology,near vision,presbyopia,social media,social media listening,Health Informatics
Publication ISSN: 1438-8871
Last Modified: 16 Jul 2024 07:18
Date Deposited: 23 Sep 2020 08:03
Full Text Link:
Related URLs: https://www.jmi ... /2020/9/e18306/ (Publisher URL)
http://www.scop ... tnerID=8YFLogxK (Scopus URL)
PURE Output Type: Article
Published Date: 2020-09-21
Accepted Date: 2020-07-07
Authors: Wolffsohn, James S (ORCID Profile 0000-0003-4673-8927)
Leteneux-Pantais, Claudia
Chiva-Razavi, Sima
Bentley, Sarah
Johnson, Chloe
Findley, Amy
Tolley, Chloe
Arbuckle, Rob
Kommineni, Jyothi
Tyagi, Nishith



Version: Published Version

License: Creative Commons Attribution

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