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J Am Geriatr Soc. 2019 Jun;67(6):1128-1131. doi: 10.1111/jgs.15853. Epub 2019 Mar 15.

Visual Abstracts to Disseminate Geriatrics Research Through Social Media.

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Division of General Internal Medicine and Geriatrics, Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine, Chicago, Illinois.


Dissemination of cutting-edge geriatrics-focused research is essential for academic geriatrics researchers, clinicians, and older adults and their caregivers. Social media channels, such as Twitter, provide a means of quickly reaching a wide array of users, globally. Besides standard tweets with links to research articles, visual abstracts are a means of delivering research results visually to end users succinctly. We compared the use of a standard tweet with a linked article with a tweet that held an added visual abstract, for a recent Journal of the American Geriatrics Society article. While the standard tweet received 24 984 impressions with 17 retweets and 36 likes over 8 days, the visual abstract inclusive tweet received 168 447 impressions with 81 retweets and 100 likes in 4 days. To assist researchers on future visual abstract development, we provide a framework and real-world guide on translation of research abstracts into visual abstracts. We hope that by providing evidence and the means to create visual abstracts, researchers in geriatrics may be empowered to disseminate their research through this method and potentially advance the care of older adults worldwide.


dissemination; geriatrics; older adults; social media; visual abstracts


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