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J Am Med Inform Assoc. 2017 Mar 1;24(2):403-408. doi: 10.1093/jamia/ocw085.

Translating evidence to practice in the health professions: a randomized trial of Twitter vs Facebook.

Author information

1
Department of Physiotherapy, Monash University, Frankston, Australia.
2
Department of Epidemiology and Preventive Medicine, Monash University, Melbourne, Australia.
3
Discipline of Physiotherapy and University of Canberra Research Institute for Sport and Exercise (UCRISE), University of Canberra, Canberra, Australia.
4
School of Primary Health, Monash University, Melbourne, Australia.
5
Warwick Medical School, University of Warwick, Coventry, United Kingdom.
6
JC School of Medicine & Health Sciences, Monash University, Malaysia.
7
Swami Vivekanand National Institute of Rehabilitation Training and Research, Odisha, India.

Abstract

Objective:

Our objective was to compare the change in research informed knowledge of health professionals and their intended practice following exposure to research information delivered by either Twitter or Facebook.

Methods:

This open label comparative design study randomized health professional clinicians to receive "practice points" on tendinopathy management via Twitter or Facebook. Evaluated outcomes included knowledge change and self-reported changes to clinical practice.

Results:

Four hundred and ninety-four participants were randomized to 1 of 2 groups and 317 responders analyzed. Both groups demonstrated improvements in knowledge and reported changes to clinical practice. There was no statistical difference between groups for the outcomes of knowledge change (P = .728), changes to clinical practice (P = .11) or the increased use of research information (P = .89). Practice points were shared more by the Twitter group (P < .001); attrition was lower in the Facebook group (P < .001).

Conclusion:

Research information delivered by either Twitter or Facebook can improve clinician knowledge and promote behavior change. No differences in these outcomes were observed between the Twitter and Facebook groups. Brief social media posts are as effective as longer posts for improving knowledge and promoting behavior change. Twitter may be more useful in publicizing information and Facebook for encouraging course completion.

KEYWORDS:

communication; computer-assisted instruction; education; evidence-based practice; professional; social media

PMID:
27357833
DOI:
10.1093/jamia/ocw085
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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