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Social media use among young rheumatologists and basic scientists: results of an international survey by the Emerging EULAR Network (EMEUNET)


Objectives To explore perceptions, barriers and patterns of social media (SM) use among rheumatology fellows and basic scientists.

Methods An online survey was disseminated via Twitter, Facebook and by email to members of the Emerging European League Against Rheumatism Network. Questions focused on general demographics, frequency and types of SM use, reasons and barriers to SM use.

Results Of 233 respondents (47 countries), 72% were aged 30–39 years, 66% female. 83% were active users of at least one SM platform and 71% were using SM professionally. The majority used SM for communicating with friends/colleagues (79%), news updates (76%), entertainment (69%), clinical (50%) and research (48%) updates. Facebook was the dominant platform used (91%). SM was reported to be used for information (81%); for expanding professional networks (76%); new resources (59%); learning new skills (47%) and establishing a professional online presence (46%). 30% of non-SM users justified not using SM due to lack of knowledge.

Conclusions There was a substantial use of SM by rheumatologists and basic scientists for social and professional reasons. The survey highlights a need for providing learning resources and increasing awareness of the use of SM. This could enhance communication, participation and collaborative work, enabling its more widespread use in a professional manner.

  • Health services research
  • Epidemiology
  • Quality Indicators

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