Manchaiah, V., Deshpande, A., Bellon-Harn, M.L., & Byod, R.
The Journal of Laryngology & Otology, In Press.
Publication year: 2021

Background: Many patients with sudden sensorineural hearing loss (SSNHL) may seek hearing health information and social support online, although little is known about the online information seeking behavior.

Objective: The present study was aimed at examining the discussions around SSNHL in Reddit posts.

Method: 526 Reddit posts about SSNHL were extracted and analysis using qualitative and quantitative methods.

Results: The content analysis identified eight main categories. Most of the posts were on topics of sharing personal experiences (34%), describing symptoms (31%), discussing treatment options (36%), and possible causes (19%) of SSNHL. The SSNHL Reddit posts varied significantly in linguistic variables when compared to baseline Reddit posts. Reddit posts by individuals with SSNHL had significantly higher engagement, higher authenticity, and talked more about their body when compared to other users.

Conclusions: The study results provide insights that can be helpful for professionals during clinical interactions.