We randomly extracted Tweets mentioning dementia/Alzheimer’s caregiving-related terms (n= 58,094) from Aug 23, 2019, to Sep 14, 2020, via an API. We applied a clustering algorithm and natural language processing (NLP) to publicly available English Tweets to detect topics and sentiment. We compared emotional valence scores of Tweets from before (through the end of 2019) and after the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic (2020-). Prevalence of topics related to caregiver emotional distress (e.g., depression, helplessness, stigma, loneliness, elder abuse) and caregiver coping (e.g., resilience, love, reading books) increased, and topics related to late-stage dementia caregiving (e.g., nursing home placement, hospice, palliative care) decreased during the pandemic. The mean emotional valence score significantly decreased from 1.18 (SD 1.57; range -7.1 to 7.9) to 0.86 (SD 1.57; range -5.5 to 6.85) after the advent of COVID-19 (difference -0.32 CI: -0.35, -0.29). The application of topic modeling and sentiment analysis to streaming social media provides a foundation for research insights regarding mental health needs for family caregivers of a person with ADRD during COVID-19 pandemic.
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