A Systematic Review of the Use of Social Media for Dissemination of Clinical Practice Guidelines

Nikita R. Bhatt*, Stefan W. Czarniecki, Hendrick Borgmann, Inge M. van Oort, Francesco Esperto, Benjamin Pradere, Mark van Gurp, Jarka Bloemberg, J. Darraugh, Morgan Rouprêt, Stacy Loeb, James N'Dow, Maria J. Ribal, Gianluca Giannarini

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

Abstract

Context: Clinical practice guideline (CPG) uptake does not occur spontaneously and requires active implementation, especially for long-term implementation. Social media (SoMe) with its power of rapid and global information exchange among physicians, patients, organizations, and stakeholders in the medical field can open up unprecedented opportunities for CPG dissemination. Objective: The aim of this review was to assess the current use of SoMe in CPG dissemination across different medical specialties. Evidence acquisition: A systematic review (SR) of the literature was conducted using Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-analyses (PRISMA) guidelines. Medline, Embase, and Cochrane databases and the general platform Google were searched for all relevant publications (no limitation for publication time and no language restrictions). The search revealed 1881 citations; following title and abstract review, 22 studies were identified; and five studies were finally included after full-text review. Evidence synthesis: All included studies were published in the past 5 yr; there was a significant improvement in knowledge, awareness, compliance, and positive behavior toward CPGs with the use of SoMe dissemination compared with traditional methods. A large audience (healthcare professionals and patients) viewed and engaged with the SoMe process of CPG dissemination, and expressed an intent to engage in this method in the future. The studies included in the SR reported variable methods of SoMe use and similarly variable methods of analyzing the outcomes. Conclusions: Owing to the recent application of SoMe in the context of CPG dissemination, there is no standardized format for its use, and the data available are variable and limited. However, encouraging preliminary results have been reported using SoMe for CPG dissemination in multiple fields, and we have provided a pragmatic method of SoMe usage in CPG dissemination based on the review. It is vital to ensure a uniform method of application and assessment of SoMe use in CPG dissemination and implementation going forward. Patient summary: Social media (SoMe) plays an important role in rapid and global information exchange among physicians, patients, organizations, and stakeholders in the medical field, and its power can be harnessed in the dissemination of evidence-based clinical practice guidelines (CPGs) that guide clinicians in practice. Our review reveals that SoMe use for CPG dissemination is a relatively new concept published approximately 5 yr ago, and it has led to significant improvement in knowledge, awareness, compliance, and positive behavior with respect to the CPGs compared with traditional methods. A large audience (healthcare professionals and patients) viewed and engaged with the SoMe process. We have produced a pragmatic method of using SoMe in CPG dissemination. Considering the importance of CPGs in practice and the ever increasing role of SoMe in the medical profession, a new role for SoMe in CPG dissemination could be established. This is a first of its kind systematic review on the use of social media (SoMe) for dissemination of clinical practice guidelines (CPGs). Owing to the recent application of SoMe in the context of CPG dissemination, there is no standardized format for its use, and the data available are variable and limited. However, encouraging preliminary results have been reported using SoMe for CPG dissemination in multiple fields, and we have provided a pragmatic method of SoMe usage in CPG dissemination based on the review. It is vital to ensure a uniform method of application and assessment of SoMe use in CPG dissemination and implementation going forward.

Original languageEnglish
Number of pages10
JournalEuropean Urology Focus
Early online date7 Nov 2020
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 7 Nov 2020

Keywords

  • European Association of Urology guidelines
  • Guideline uptake
  • Social media
  • Twitter
  • Urology

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