Physicians who use social media and other internet-based communication technologies
- Crystale Purvis Cooper1,
- Cynthia A Gelb2,
- Sun Hee Rim2,
- Nikki A Hawkins2,
- Juan L Rodriguez2,
- Lindsey Polonec2
- 1Soltera Center for Cancer Prevention and Control, Tucson, Arizona, USA
- 2Division of Cancer Prevention and Control, National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, Georgia, USA
- Correspondence to Cynthia A Gelb, Division of Cancer Prevention and Control, National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 4770 Buford Highway, NE, MS K-64, Atlanta, GA 30341, USA;
Contributors All authors contributed sufficiently to this report to be included as authors, and all those who are qualified to be authors are listed as authors.
- Received 6 October 2011
- Accepted 26 April 2012
- Published Online First 25 May 2012
The demographic and practice-related characteristics of physicians who use social networking websites, portable devices to access the internet, email to communicate with patients, podcasts, widgets, RSS feeds, and blogging were investigated. Logistic regression was used to analyze a survey of US primary care physicians, pediatricians, obstetrician/gynecologists, and dermatologists (N=1750). Reported technology use during the last 6 months ranged from 80.6% using a portable device to access the internet to 12.9% writing a blog. The most consistent predictors of use were being male, being younger, and having teaching hospital privileges. Physician specialty, practice setting, years in practice, average number of patients treated per week, and number of physicians in practice were found to be inconsistently associated or unassociated with use of the technologies examined. Demographic characteristics, rather than practice-related characteristics, were more consistent predictors of physician use of seven internet-based communication technologies with varying levels of uptake.
The 2009 DocStyles data reported here were licensed from Porter Novelli (Washington, DC).
Funding The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion, Division of Cancer Prevention and Control provided funding for this study.
Disclaimer The findings and conclusions in this report are those of the authors and do not necessarily represent the official position of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Competing interests None.
Ethics approval Analysis of data used in this study was exempted from institutional review board approval, as personal identifiers were not included in the dataset provided to investigators.
Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.