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Do Twitter and Anesthesia Mix? Describing the Social Media Experience at Consecutive Spring Meetings of the American Society of Regional Anesthesia and Pain Medicine
Thurs, April 6, 3:45-5:15 pm
Salon 5

Please note, medically challenging cases are removed three months after the meeting and scientific abstracts after three years.


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•Dissemination of scientific material among healthcare professionals via Twitter is rapid and effective.
•Although several specialties have described Twitter experiences at conferences,1,2 anesthesiology has not 
•Therefore, the purpose of this study was to analyze the content and Twitter participant characteristics of consecutive spring meetings of ASRA.


Materials and Methods

•Determined by TJU IRB to be exempt from review
•Twitter transcripts for #ASRASpring15 and #ASRA_RA16 downloaded from the Symplur Healthcare Hashtags project website (http://www.symplur.com/healthcare-hashtags/)
•Study period: 4:00 a.m. on day 1 of conference until 5:30 p.m. of day 3.
•Data extracted: impressions (#Tweets x #followers), total Tweets, Tweets per hour, Tweets per participant, and top 10 Tweeters by impressions, presence of picture in Tweets
•Retweets per participant were calculated.
•All original Tweets were categorized into the following categories, based on previous work1,3: scientific, logistical, social, and other, with each category being ranked 1, 2, 3, and 4, respectively
•Tweets were analyzed independently by ESS and KMJ with tiebreakers by ADU, who was blinded.
•Intra-class correlation coefficient (ICC) was calculated for the two independent categorizers. Association between meeting attendance and types of Tweets (original vs. Retweet) was calculated. Nominal by nominal contingency coefficients were used for determining significance of meeting attendance by type of Tweet. 


•The number of conference registrants decreased from 2015 to 2016 while the number of Twitter participants increased along with original Tweets and unmodified Retweets (Table 1).
•The top 10 participants who were retweeted are shown in Table 2. Those who retweeted only at both meetings were more likely to have not attended (P < 0.001).
•The percentage of Tweets by trainees almost tripled during this time from 3.4% to 11.2%.
•The majority of Tweets at both meetings were scientific, with social Tweets representing the second largest group, and logistical and other being the minority (Figure 1).
•Examples of Tweets are shown in Figure 2.  
•The ICCs for category assignment were 0.82 and 0.84 for Spring 2015 and 2016, respectively. 


•Twitter contributes to the conference scientific discussion as most Tweets were scientific.
•Twitter’s external reach is evident by non-attendee participation.
•Physician trainees are increasingly involved in Twitter and should be considered part of the discussion. 
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