Rheumatology International

, Volume 39, Issue 5, pp 893–899 | Cite as

#EULAR2018: The Annual European Congress of Rheumatology—a Twitter hashtag analysis

  • José B. NegrónEmail author
Observational Research


The objective of this study was to explore the hashtag #EULAR2018 on Twitter during the period of the European League Against Rheumatism (EULAR) Annual European Congress to better comprehend the implications and patterns of social media (SM) data and their possible impact on users interested in rheumatic and musculoskeletal diseases. A mixed methods study combining SM performance data with qualitative content analysis of tweets was conducted. All the tweets publicly posted with #EULAR2018 were tracked using Symplur™ and Keyhole. Parameters such as number of users, engagement, reach, impressions, gender, source used to tweet, type of post, countries, trending topics, and main themes were analyzed. A total of 10,431 tweets using #EULAR2018 were tracked. Most of them were original and reached by > 2,950,000 users. Some of the retweets came from non-attendees to the congress. Males tweeted more than females; however, this gender disparity was not notable among the influential users. “Patients” were identified as the key topic. Sharing knowledge from the in situ congress, marketing or advertising, and sharing experiences or thoughts were identified as the main themes. Some dissonances between EULAR discourse and behavior that require further attention were identified. The EULAR congress is a staggering source of information with the potential of generating debate and promoting new practices in the rheumatology field, regardless of the place of origin of the users exposed to it, or whether or not the users attended the congress. EULAR should recognize the value and power of these data and incorporate them in the benchmarking of challenges and opportunities for the organization.


EULAR Social media research Twitter Qualitative research Rheumatology 



To Simon R. Stones for showing me that he is more than just a patient; he is a person with a disease.

Author contributions

JB: conceived, planned, and conducted the study. He was also in charge of the data analysis, the interpretation of the results, the writing of the manuscript, and its revision.


This research did not receive any specific Grant from funding agencies in the public, commercial, or not-for-profit sectors.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

Dr. Negrón reports personal fees and Grants from the European League Against Rheumatism outside the submitted work.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Instituto de Salud MusculoesqueléticaMadridSpain

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