Preliminary Evidence for the Emergence of a Health Care Online Community of Practice: Using a Netnographic Framework for Twitter Hashtag Analytics

A healthcare social media research article published in Journal of Medical Internet Research, July 13, 2017

Title
Preliminary Evidence for the Emergence of a Health Care Online Community of Practice: Using a Netnographic Framework for Twitter Hashtag Analytics
Authors (alpha)
Damian Roland, Daniel Cabrera, Jesse Spurr
Published
July 13, 2017
Journal
Journal of Medical Internet Research
Impact Factor
5.835
DOI
10.2196/jmir.7072
Pubmed
28710054
Altmetric
A healthcare social media research article published in Journal of Medical Internet Research, July 13, 2017

Abstract

Online communities of practice (oCoPs) may emerge from interactions on social media. These communities offer an open digital space and flat role hierarchy for information sharing and provide a strong group identity, rapid flow of information, content curation, and knowledge translation. To date, there is only a small body of evidence in medicine or health care to verify the existence of an oCoP. We aimed to examine the emergence of an oCoP through the study of social media interactions of the free open access medical education (FOAM) movement. We examined social media activity in Twitter by analyzing the network centrality metrics of tweets with the #FOAMed hashtag and compared them with previously validated criteria of a community of practice (CoP). The centrality analytics of the FOAM community showed concordance with aspects of a general CoP (in terms of community, domain, and practice), as well as some specific traits of a health care community, including social control, common purpose, flat hierarchy, and network-based and concrete achievement. This study demonstrated preliminary evidence of an oCoP focused on education and based on social media interactions. Further examination of the topology of the network is needed to definitely prove the existence of an oCoP. Given that these communities result in significant knowledge translation and practice change, further research in this area appears warranted.


Symplur Signals for Academic Research

Symplur Signals provides researchers with a simple research interface, rich datasets, powerful filtering, and algorithms with natural language processing capabilities optimized for our context of healthcare. Get access to up to 7 years of history from this trusted academic research platform.

Subscribe Now

Healthcare Social Media Research

See the full list of healthcare social media research articles with data from or reference to Symplur.
#hcsmR is a collaboration between Stanford Medicine X and Symplur.


Altmetric

The Altmetric Attention Score is based on the attention a research article gets on the internet. Each coloured thread in the circle represents a different type of online attention and the number in the centre is the Altmetric Attention Score. The score is calculated based on two main sources of online attention: social media and mainstream news media.