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Colorectal Surgeon: Katharine Louise Jackson, MD, MBBS

Rochester, New York. Add Item s to:. An Existing Folder. A New Folder. The item s has been successfully added to " ". Thanks for registering! Be sure to verify your new user account in the next 24 hours, by checking your email and clicking the "verify" link. A study from Germany [ 26 ] aimed at assessing the reliability of available leaflets and booklets concerning CRC screening. The authors analysed a total of 41 print sources, and found that most were not compliant with evidence-based medical information.

Specifically, they lack adequate reporting of literature evidences whereas up to one third of them did not mention any of the harms of CRC screenings. The quality of information was found to be, to some extent, misleading [ 26 ]. Therefore, SM has the potential to spread inaccurate information in a rapid fashion. For this reason, physicians need to get involved in CRC SM in order to ensure that accurate information, based on reliable sources, are disseminated. Opposite to print-only material, contents shared on SM can be commented in real time by other users, potentially identifying incorrect information.

Poor expert involvement can also result in SM having a negative effect on patient feelings, as a consequence of lack of actual knowledge. This generates an increased perception of uncertainty concerning CRC treatment and features, leading to anxiety and further escaping from CRC screening and follow-ups. CRC has received less attention than other types of cancers, and this may be related to a sentiment of shame derived from some aspects of the CRC screening and patient assessment e.

These are still considered taboo by a relevant number of patients. CRC experts and institutional accounts were the most active tweeters and influencers concerning this hashtag. SM are strongly influenced by other media [ 7 , 9 ], i.

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CRC tweeting increased during CRC awareness month [ 9 ], and hashtag performances reached the highest level of tweeting during similar campaigns. We would underline that this influence is bi-directional, meaning that SM are likely to impact conventional media, further highlighting the need of CRC experts to be involved. Many SM are mainly used for leisure or personal purposes, and the quality of scientific content is not routinely controlled. As an example, Facebook news feed algorithms have not been revealed and there have been concern about the possibility that it can expose users to new and challenging ideas or insulate user in potentially misleading own beliefs [ 27 ].

An invaluable resource of SM in CRC is the connections that they can create between patients and surgeons. Lastly, authorities such as the GMC [ 12 , 28 ] [and the American Medical Association AMA [ 12 , 29 ] have developed guidelines for the ethical conduct of doctors using SM, to preserve patient information and privacy [ 30 ]. Besides divulgation of Scientific contents and the above enlisted features, SM like Twitter have additional potential of fostering or facilitating liaisons between societies and, more importantly, between CRC researchers all over the world [ 31 ].

Twitter has also contributed to the development of a student- and trainee- led collaborative, currently including more than European Universities, EuroSurg EuroSurg [ 32 ]. SM can also provide young colorectal surgeons with clinical and research training opportunities, overcoming country-specific disparities [ 34 ] SM has played a central role in disseminating these Collaboratives, suggesting that SM may also be useful in establishing research networks to deliver high quality studies.

Recently, the hashtag colorectalsurgery showed that there is a great interest of colorectal surgeons in SM[ 31 , 35 ]. Journals, Societies, and Organizations can use Twitter and other SM for ethical purposes, such as fundraising or support of initiatives directed against discrimination. These aims are part of their life and mission in CRC patient care. We found that hashtag performances have gone through great modifications over time.


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Specifically, an increasing number of experts and—more importantly—scientific societies and CRC centres are using hashtags and SM. However, this engagement is much more pronounced in US-based societies, whereas institutions from Europe tend to be less engaged. Nonetheless, it can be predicted that a similar involvement will develop over time. An increasing number of health apps are being developed, designed to help patients coping with their diseases and gaining insights on their conditions.

These can be easily accessed, and some are free of charge or do not require subscriptions. Over health apps were available in [ 36 ] and after three years their number reached , according to the Institute for Health Informatics [ 37 ]. These observations urge CRC surgeons to participate in this innovation [ 39 ].

Australasian Colorectal Surgeons in the Modern Era: The Rise of Social Media

This study has several limitations. First of all, SM are very rapidly evolving and changing, therefore results may slightly modify over time. Included studies consisted of individual interviews or analyses performed with search engines which may have evolved over time. Similarly, accessibility to SM might have increased.

However, the trend towards higher use of SM by CRC patients as well as the potential and shortcomings associated with their use are important issues that need to be timely addressed by the scientific community. A detailed tweets evaluation would have obtained more detailed results. Nevertheless, evaluation of hashtag performance was a secondary aim of this manuscript, and it was intended to give a rough overview of CRC engagement with SM.


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We did not include in our analysis the hashtag crcsm colorectal cancer social media , which has been implemented in the Healthcare Hashtag project cancer ontology. Structured hashtags are increasingly being used by physicians, but they might not be easy to understand for patients. In addition, since the use of SM in CRC surgeons still needs to be encouraged, we would have obtained conflicting results.

An increasing number of CRC patients and relatives are being engaged with SM, seeking information concerning their disease. Most SM lack of authoritative validation and the quality of shared content is still largely anecdotic and not scientifically evidence-based. We suggest that people are still reluctant to share their experience with CRC, especially with rectal cancer.

How Twitter has connected the colorectal community

However, if carefully handled, SM may offer several advantages over conventional information sharing sources for CRC patients and surgeons, and create connections with mutual enrichment. Browse Subject Areas? Click through the PLOS taxonomy to find articles in your field. Abstract Aim Social media SM can provide information and medical knowledge to patients. Method Studies published between and were assessed. Funding: The authors received no specific funding for this work.

Introduction Social Media SM have revolutionized medical practice. Only full-text articles were included. Exclusion criteria Studies were not included if they analysed only platforms or digital content that did not allow interactions among users. Data search Available data from all studies published between January and December were evaluated for inclusion.

Impact and trend of hashtags in CRC surgery and treatment over the last two years. Results The initial search identified 36 papers on PubMed, which increased up to 51 after including cross-referenced sources. Download: PPT. Fig 1. Flow-chart of study selection for inclusion in the analysis. Primary aim Patients. Secondary aims Colorectal surgeons. Discussion SM has completely changed the way people communicate and share experiences, and patients and surgeons have been involved in this profound change.

Surgeons dealing with colorectal cancer We found that SM usage by CRC surgeons has been poorly reported in the literature, but a growing number of colorectal surgeons are currently involved in SM. SM can also provide new ways of teaching that can be implemented in available training courses.

Caveat and potential of social media in colorectal cancer Suboptimal doctor involvement is the more frequently reported concern in SM involving CRC patients [ 3 , 4 , 8 ]. Future directions and impact of social media on colorectal cancer societies Besides divulgation of Scientific contents and the above enlisted features, SM like Twitter have additional potential of fostering or facilitating liaisons between societies and, more importantly, between CRC researchers all over the world [ 31 ].

Study limitations This study has several limitations. Conclusions An increasing number of CRC patients and relatives are being engaged with SM, seeking information concerning their disease. Supporting information. S1 Checklist. References 1. The social economy: unlocking value and productivity through social technologies.

How Twitter has connected the colorectal community

London: McKinsey Global Institute; Lee T. Healthcare Hashtags—a Social Project [cited April ]. A content analysis of chronic diseases social groups on Facebook and Twitter. Telemed J E Health. Real-world experience with colorectal cancer chemotherapies: patient web forum analysis. Understanding topics and sentiment in an online cancer survivor community.

J Natl Cancer Inst Monogr. Do cancer patients tweet?