Who engages with patient-centered, peer-reviewed publications? Tweeting of JAMA Patient Pages
Objective: Since 1998, JAMA has published peer-reviewed Patient Pages to help healthcare professionals (HCPs) promote credible information to patients; with growing patient-empowerment and access to social media, the public may now be the primary promotors. We investigated engagement with JAMA’s Patient Pages via Twitter.
Research design and methods: For this controlled cross-sectional analysis, sequential (November 2013–November 2015; n=86) free-access JAMA Patient Pages were matched for topic and time to JAMA articles (controlling for journal; n=86) and to free‑access, MEDLINE®-listed articles (controlling for access; n=86). Altmetric.com and Twitter data were analysed by an independent academic statistician.
Results: For Patient Pages (34 vs 8; P<.001), JAMA articles (28 vs 9; P<.001), and MEDLINE® articles (1 vs 0; P=.002), the median number of tweets was significantly higher for the public vs HCPs. The median number of Tweeters, median number of followers, median Attention Scores, and percent of articles having the US as the top Tweeting country were significantly higher for Patient Pages (49; 226,719; 35; 93%) and JAMA articles (47; 214,773; 42; 88%) vs MEDLINE® articles (1; 183; 1; 22%); for each outcome, the difference between Patient Pages or JAMA articles vs MEDLINE® was P<.001; no significant differences were detected between Patient Pages vs JAMA articles.
Conclusions: The public may be more powerful promoters of peer‑reviewed publications, whether patient-centric or not, than HCPs. Tweeters from the US were the strongest promoters of JAMA’s patient‑centric, peer-reviewed publications.