Article

Physicians on Twitter

Medical Service, Washington DC VA Medical Center, Washington, DC, USA.
JAMA The Journal of the American Medical Association (Impact Factor: 30.39). 02/2011; 305(6):566-8. DOI: 10.1001/jama.2011.68
Source: PubMed
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    ABSTRACT: Background Within the medical community there is persistent debate as to whether the information available through social media is trustworthy and valid, and whether physicians are ready to adopt these technologies and ultimately embrace them as a format for professional development and lifelong learning. Objective To identify how physicians are using social media to share and exchange medical information with other physicians, and to identify the factors that influence physicians’ use of social media as a component of their lifelong learning and continuing professional development. Methods We developed a survey instrument based on the Technology Acceptance Model, hypothesizing that technology usage is best predicted by a physician’s attitudes toward the technology, perceptions about the technology’s usefulness and ease of use, and individual factors such as personal innovativeness. The survey was distributed via email to a random sample of 1695 practicing oncologists and primary care physicians in the United States in March 2011. Responses from 485 physicians were analyzed (response rate 28.61%). Results Overall, 117 of 485 (24.1%) of respondents used social media daily or many times daily to scan or explore medical information, whereas 69 of 485 (14.2%) contributed new information via social media on a daily basis. On a weekly basis or more, 296 of 485 (61.0%) scanned and 223 of 485 (46.0%) contributed. In terms of attitudes toward the use of social media, 279 of 485 respondents (57.5%) perceived social media to be beneficial, engaging, and a good way to get current, high-quality information. In terms of usefulness, 281 of 485 (57.9%) of respondents stated that social media enabled them to care for patients more effectively, and 291 of 485 (60.0%) stated it improved the quality of patient care they delivered. The main factors influencing a physician’s usage of social media to share medical knowledge with other physicians were perceived ease of use and usefulness. Respondents who had positive attitudes toward the use of social media were more likely to use social media and to share medical information with other physicians through social media. Neither age nor gender had a significant impact on adoption or usage of social media. Conclusions Based on the results of this study, the use of social media applications may be seen as an efficient and effective method for physicians to keep up-to-date and to share newly acquired medical knowledge with other physicians within the medical community and to improve the quality of patient care. Future studies are needed to examine the impact of the meaningful use of social media on physicians’ knowledge, attitudes, skills, and behaviors in practice.
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    ABSTRACT: With the increasing interest in micro blogging services, extensive research has focused on Twitter for a variety of purposes. For effective research on Twitter, an investigation of academic research papers related with Twitter will be required in order to analyze research trends. However, it is not easy to review the vast data. Therefore, we extract the representative literature related to Twitter and investigate the trends in Twitter research by using the systematic literature review (SLR) method. The five most popular resource sites are selected to collect Twitter-related literature and the 106 papers selected based on SLR are analyzed to study interesting trends in Twitter research. To classify the research area, the selected papers are divided into five main research categories according to research topics. In addition, other valuable results such as the inclination of the authors are also understood.
    2014 16th International Conference on Advanced Communication Technology (ICACT); 02/2014
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    ABSTRACT: Social media has created a revolution in health services. Information available on the Internet and via social media is now being used as reference guides for sensitive health issues by nonprofessionals, physicians, and medical students. When used by physicians and medical students, social media has the potential to raise issues such as the blurring of the line between professional and private lives, patient relations, and medical ethics. The aim of this cross-sectional study was to evaluate the use of social media and attitudes toward its use in medicine among medical students. Medical students from Afyon Kocatepe University, Faculty of Medicine (Afyonkarahisar, Turkey) were asked to participate in a survey consisting of two sections, the first containing questions assessing the frequency of social media use and the second regarding attitudes toward the use of social media in medicine. Survey responses indicated that 93.4% of medical students used social media and 89.3% used social media for professional purposes. Factor analysis showed that attitudes toward social media are based on five factors: professional usefulness, popularity, ethics, barriers, and innovativeness. A structural equation model revealed the highest positive correlation between usefulness and innovativeness; ethics had a low but positive correlation with other factors. Although social media is being used extensively by medical students, they appear unaware of possible ethical issues. Therefore, social media guidelines should be developed.
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