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Exploring X: barriers to care for eosinophilic esophagitis.

Patients with chronic diseases have increasingly turned to social media to discuss symptoms and share the challenges they face with disease management. The primary aim of this study is to use naturally occurring data from X (formerly known as Twitter) to identify barriers to care faced by individuals affected by eosinophilic esophagitis (EoE). For this qualitative study, the X application programming interface with academic research access was used to search for posts that referenced EoE between 1 January 2019 and 10 August 2022. The posts were identified as being either related to barriers to care for EoE or not. Those related to barriers to care were further categorized by the type of barrier that was expressed. A total of 8636 EoE-related posts were annotated of which 12.1% were related to barriers to care in EoE. The themes that emerged about barriers to care included: dietary challenges, limited treatment options, lack of community support, lack of physician awareness of disease, misinformation, cost of care, lack of patient belief in disease or trust in physician, and limited access to care. Saturation of themes was achieved. This study highlights barriers to care in EoE using readily accessible social media data that is not derived from a curated research setting. Identifying these obstacles is key to improving care for this chronic disease.

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