(P134) Can a Radiation Oncology Social Media Website Be Used to Convey Reliable Radiation Oncology Information?

Publication
Article
OncologyOncology Vol 28 No 1S
Volume 28
Issue 1S

As the volume of radiation oncology information increases, the ability to gather and critically appraise high-quality information in order to answer clinical questions becomes increasingly challenging for radiation oncologists. Sharing knowledge about new information and practice variations is instrumental to high-quality radiation oncology practices.

Nadine Housri, MD; Rutgers Robert Wood Johnson Medical School and Cancer Institute of New Jersey

Introduction: As the volume of radiation oncology information increases, the ability to gather and critically appraise high-quality information in order to answer clinical questions becomes increasingly challenging for radiation oncologists. Additionally, emerging technologies and new information lead to increasing variations in practice. Sharing knowledge about new information and practice variations is instrumental to high-quality radiation oncology practices. The content of a radiation oncology–specific social media question-and-answer website, themednet.org, was analyzed to determine whether a social media format could provide reliable, data-driven radiation oncology information.

Methods: All answers posted in a soft-launch period between December 2012 and September 2013 and following launch in September 2013 were evaluated. In the prelaunch phase, membership to the site was by invitation only. In September 2013, the site was opened to all radiation oncologists and radiation oncology residents. Answers were evaluated for quality based on whether they cited published data, personal experience, guidelines, or current and future clinical trials.

Results: Between December 2012 and November 2013, there were 68 answers posted to 54 questions. The highest number of answers was related to breast cancer (12), followed by genitourinary and gastrointestinal cancers (10 each), palliation (7), gynecologic cancers (7), thoracic malignancies (6), mentorship/career development (4), head and neck cancers (3), lymphoma (3), central nervous system tumors (3), soft tissue tumors (1), protons (1), and global health (1). Of the 54 answered questions, the majority had one answer, while 12 had two or more answers. Academic radiation oncologists posted 54 answers, while community physicians and residents posted 4 and 5 answers, respectively. Fourteen answers were related to advanced technology (intensity-modulated radiation therapy [IMRT], proton therapy, intraoperative radiotherapy, stereotactic treatments, or advanced imaging). Thirty-three answers cited a total of 54 publications, while 11 referred to data without specifically citing a publication. Fifty-nine answers referred to personal experience, and 27 cited both data and personal experience. Additionally, 11 answers referred to current or future clinical trials.

Conclusions: In the initial launch of a question-and-answer social media website for radiation oncologists, the majority of content was found to refer to personal practices, followed by the published literature. Social media may be a useful tool to share knowledge and practice patterns. Further research will be necessarily to determine if this form of knowledge-sharing can be used to improve the quality of patient care.

Articles in this issue

(P113) Age and Marital Status Are Associated With Choice of Mastectomy in Patients Eligible for Breast Conservation Therapy
(P112) Single-Institution Experience With Intrabeam IORT for Treatment of Early-Stage Breast Cancer
(P110) Breast Cancer Before Age 40: Current Patterns in Clinical Presentation and Local Management
(P111) Accelerated Partial-Breast Irradiation With Multicatheter High-Dose-Rate Brachytherapy: Feasibility and Results in a Private Practice Cohort
(P115) Breast Cancer Laterality Does Not Influence Overall Survival in a Large Modern Cohort: Implications for Radiation-Related Cardiac Mortality
(P117) Anatomical Variations and Radiation Technique for Breast Cancer
(P116) Bilateral Immediate DIEP Reconstruction and Postmastectomy Radiotherapy: Experience at a Tertiary Care Institution
(P118) Metadherin Overexpression Is Associated With Improved Locoregional Control After Mastectomy
(P119) Effect of Economic Environment on Use of Postlumpectomy Radiation Therapy for Stage I Breast Cancer
(P120) Immediate Versus Delayed Reconstruction After Mastectomy in the United States Medicare Breast Cancer Patient
(P121) Trend in Age and Racial Disparities in the Receipt of Postlumpectomy Radiation Therapy for Stage I Breast Cancer: 2004–2009
(P122) Streamlining Referring Physicians Orders With ‘Reflex Testing’ Significantly Decreases Time to Resolution for Abnormal Screening Mammograms
(P123) National Trends in the Local Management of Early-Stage Paget Disease of the Breast
(P124) Effect of Inhomogeneity on Cardiac and Lung Dose in Partial-Breast Irradiation Using HDR Brachytherapy
(P125) Breast Cancer Outcomes With Anthracycline-Based Chemotherapy for Residual Disease Burden After Full-Dose Neoadjuvant Chemotherapy and Surgery Followed by Radiation Treatment
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