The Social Media Index as an Indicator of Quality for Emergency Medicine Blogs: A METRIQ Study
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STUDY OBJECTIVE: Online educational resources such as blogs are increasingly used for education by emergency medicine clinicians. The Social Media Index was developed to quantify their relative impact. The Medical Education Translational Resources: Indicators of Quality (METRIQ) study was conducted in part to determine the association between the Social Media Index score and quality as measured by gestalt and previously derived quality instruments. METHODS: Ten blogs were randomly selected from a list of emergency medicine and critical care Web sites. The 2 most recent clinically oriented blog posts published on these blogs were evaluated with gestalt, the Academic Life in Emergency Medicine Approved Instructional Resources (ALiEM AIR) score, and the METRIQ-8 score. Volunteer raters (including medical students, emergency medicine residents, and emergency medicine attending physicians) were identified with a multimodal recruitment methodology. The Social Media Index was calculated in February 2016, November 2016, April 2017, and December 2017. Pearson's correlations were calculated between the Social Media Index and the average rater gestalt, ALiEM AIR score, and METRIQ-8 score. RESULTS: A total of 309 of 330 raters completed all ratings (93.6%). The Social Media Index correlated moderately to strongly with the mean rater gestalt ratings (range 0.69 to 0.76) and moderately with the mean rater ALiEM AIR score (range 0.55 to 0.61) and METRIQ-8 score (range 0.53 to 0.57) during the month of the blog post's selection and for 2 years after. CONCLUSION: The Social Media Index's correlation with multiple quality evaluation instruments over time supports the hypothesis that it is associated with overall Web site quality. It can play a role in guiding individuals to high-quality resources that can be reviewed with critical appraisal techniques.
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