NCBI ROFL: Social networks lack useful content for incontinence.

By ncbi rofl | January 31, 2012 6:40 pm

It’s Facebook week on NCBI ROFL! All this week we’ll be featuring papers about everyone’s favorite social networking site. Enjoy!

“OBJECTIVE: To assess the incontinence resources readily available for patients among social networks. Social networks allow users to connect with each other and share content and are a widely popular resource on the Internet. These sites attract millions of users; however, social media are underused in the healthcare industry. METHODS: A search for “incontinence” was performed on Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube in September 2010. The first 30 results were reviewed for each. The results were evaluated as useful or not useful and additionally catalogued as healthcare professionals, commercial products, or complementary and alternative medicine resources. RESULTS: On Facebook, 4 results (13%) were informative, 12 (40%) advertised commercial incontinence products, and 14 (47%) had no usable information. Of the live “tweets” reviewed on Twitter, 18 (60%) linked to incontinence-related healthcare information (none were from, or referred one to, healthcare professionals), 9 (30%) advertised for commercial incontinence products, 1 (3%) advertised complementary and alternative medicine resources, and 2 (7%) were humorous. Of 4 Twitter user results, 1 was comic, 1 provided incontinence-related health information, and 2 were incontinence medical supply companies. There were 14 (47%) informational YouTube videos, of which 9 came from healthcare professionals or professional organizations. Of the remainder, 12 (40%) were commercial, 1 (3%) advertised complementary and alternative medicine resources, and the remaining 3 (10%) were not useful. CONCLUSION: The results of our study show that social networks have insufficient useful incontinence content, especially from healthcare professionals and incontinence organizations. Medical professionals and societies should target these avenues to reach and educate patients.”

Photo: Flickr/jemsweb

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NCBI ROFL is the brainchild of two Molecular and Cell Biology graduate students at UC Berkeley and features real research articles from the PubMed database (which is housed by the National Center for Biotechnology information, aka NCBI) that they find amusing (ROFL is a commonly-used internet acronym for "rolling on the floor, laughing"). Follow us on twitter: @ncbirofl


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