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Maternal and child health
Utilising social media to educate and inform healthcare professionals, policy-makers and the broader community in evidence-based healthcare
  1. Amy Keir1,2,
  2. Nicolas Bamat3,
  3. Ravi Mangal Patel4,
  4. Omar Elkhateeb5,
  5. Damian Roland6,7
    1. 1 Robinson Research Institute and the Adelaide Medical School, University of Adelaide, North Adelaide, South Australia, Australia
    2. 2 Healthy Mothers, Babies and Children Theme, South Australian Health and Medical Research Institute, North Adelaide, South Australia, Australia
    3. 3 Division of Neonatology, Center for Pediatric Clinical Effectiveness, The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA
    4. 4 Emory University School of Medicine, Atlanta, Georgia, USA
    5. 5 King Fahad Medical City, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia
    6. 6 Paediatric Emergency Medicine Leicester Academic (PEMLA) Group, Leicester Royal Infirmary, Leicester, UK
    7. 7 Department of Health Sciences, SAPPHIRE Group, Leicester University, Leicester, UK
    1. Correspondence to Dr Amy Keir, Women’s and Children’s Hospital, North Adelaide SA 5006, Australia; amy.keir{at}

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    Social media is emerging as key solution to increase collaborative discourse between individuals, institutions and countries. Although evidence of social media’s impact on health policy is limited,1 its potential to promote knowledge dissemination and provide open forums for critical appraisal of evidence-based literature is increasingly clear.2 Social media in many ways is the definition of dissemination. It can be an active tool for spreading evidence-based information to a target audience (population) via determined channels (social media platforms) using planned strategies. Social media has a heterogeneous array of definitions as it can describe particular platforms of use (ie, Twitter or Facebook) or a particular methodology of connecting users. Social media in medicine can be defined as any digital media that enables widespread connectivity between users using a defined methodology of approach (ie, blog, podcast and so on).1

    Researchers in the field of social media and knowledge dissemination in healthcare have clearly put it ‘Let debates take place in open and public forums, rather than the isolated circles of individual clinicians or local groups. Engagement and participation can usher in a new era of transparency around clinical decision-making, knowledge integration, and evidence-based practice’.2 The Evidence Manifesto3 was conceived, with similar ideals, to address the growing challenge of integrating patient-centred decision making with the best available evidence: ‘Informed decision making requires clinicians and patients to identify and integrate relevant evidence. But with the questionable integrity of much of today’s evidence, the …

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