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Fertil Steril. 2012 Jan;97(1):88-94. doi: 10.1016/j.fertnstert.2011.10.001. Epub 2011 Nov 14.

The ART of social networking: how SART member clinics are connecting with patients online.

Author information

1
Division of Reproductive Endocrinology and Infertility, Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Washington University School of Medicine, St. Louis, Missouri, USA. omurtagk@wudosis.wustl.edu

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

To study and describe the use of social networking websites among Society for Assisted Reproductive Technology (SART) member clinics.

DESIGN:

Cross-sectional study.

SETTING:

University-based practice.

PATIENT(S):

Not applicable.

INTERVENTION(S):

Not applicable.

MAIN OUTCOME MEASURE(S):

Prevalence of social networking websites among SART member clinics and evaluation of content, volume, and location (i.e., mandated state, region) using multivariate regression analysis.

RESULT(S):

A total of 384 SART-registered clinics and 1,382 social networking posts were evaluated. Of the clinics, 96% had a website and 30% linked to a social networking website. The majority of clinics (89%) with social networking websites were affiliated with nonacademic centers. Social networking posts mostly provided information (31%) and/or advertising (28%), and the remaining offered support (19%) or were irrelevant (17%) to the target audience. Only 5% of posts involved patients requesting information. Clinic volume correlated with the presence of a clinic website and a social networking website.

CONCLUSION(S):

Almost all SART member clinics have a website. Nearly one-third of these clinics host a social networking website such as Facebook, Twitter, and/or a blog. Large-volume clinics commonly host social networking websites. These sites provide new ways to communicate with patients, but clinics should maintain policies on the incorporation of social networks into practice.

PMID:
22088209
PMCID:
PMC4074916
DOI:
10.1016/j.fertnstert.2011.10.001
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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