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The Latest on Twitter

Kidney Week

Abstract: TH-PO017

Tweeting a Path to Communication Success: What Nephrology Training Programs Are Sharing on Twitter

Session Information

  • Educational Research
    November 03, 2022 | Location: Exhibit Hall, Orange County Convention Center‚ West Building
    Abstract Time: 10:00 AM - 12:00 PM

Category: Educational Research

  • 900 Educational Research

Authors

  • Maursetter, Laura J., University of Wisconsin-Madison, Madison, Wisconsin, United States
  • Madariaga, Hector M., Lahey Hospital and Medical Center, Burlington, Massachusetts, United States
  • Desai, Tejas, Vifor Pharma Ltd, Glattbrugg, Zurich, Switzerland
Background

Twitter is an important tool for communication by nephrology training programs. Using Twitter impacts recruitment and programs increasingly rely on this platform to reach a generation of learners who are connected on social media. Effective use of Twitter takes time and dedication and little is known about the patterns of its use. In this study, we collected tweets from US nephrology training programs to provide information on patterns and subjects of Twitter use.

Methods

Over a period of 40 months, we collected tweets from nephrology training programs known to have Twitter accounts. We manually reviewed a small corpus of tweets to establish the 5 most common themes. Subsequently, we developed a code book that provided a taxonomy system for the tweets. Excel was programmed to read each tweet and categorize into any of the 5 themes. Tweets could be classified into more than one domain to capture the richness of the tweet.

Results

We analyzed 33,112 tweets from 78 of the 149 domestic adult nephrology training programs between 8/2018 and 12/2021. The range of Twitter activity was 2 to 2,265 tweets per program and 4 programs authored 25% of the tweets. Only 42% of tweets contained original content; 58% were retweets. Our thematic analysis categorized each tweet into any combination of the 5 themes: Advocacy/DEI (12%), Work-Life Balance (2%), Professional Development (22%), Promotion (self or program) (45%), and/or Medical Knowledge (42%). Programs interacted with AJKDOnline, ASNKidney, CJASN, ASNKidney360, and KidneyMed the most often.

Conclusion

Twitter is an increasingly common communication tool used by US nephrology training programs. We analyzed a large numbers of tweets from over 50% of programs with active accounts. The most frequent themes were Medical Knowledge and Promotion. Even though using Twitter can take a significant amount of time and might be challenging, more than half of the activity comes from retweets which can provide a reprieve to busy clinicians. Our next step is to determine if Twitter activity and/or specific themes have made a difference in match outcomes.