Maziar Abdolrasulnia (CE Outcomes, LLC); Brian McGowan (Pfizer, Inc.); Molly Wasko (University of Alabama at Birmingham); Desirae Freiherr (CE Outcomes, LLC); Debi Susalka (CE Outcomes, LLC)
Online social networking is a natural extension of social learning theory and may facilitate and/or augment traditional models of social learning. A study was conducted with US oncologists and primary care physicians to determine the adoption and usage of commonly used information and communication technologies (ICTs) to share medical knowledge with other physicians.
The purpose of this study was to identify predictors of the adoption and use of social media by physicians to share medical information.
A survey was developed using the theoretical framework of the Technology Acceptance Model (TAM), previous literature, and input from an advisory board. Surveys were pilot tested and data were collected by email from 186 US oncologists and 299 US primary care physicians (PCPs).
The attitudes, ease of use, and usefulness are predictive of overall usage for sharing knowledge by physicians. Ease of use and usefulness impact traditional media usage, while personal innovativeness and peer influence impact content and networking media usage. Personal innovativeness is a driving force for physicians when broken down by media type. The more active the PCP (patients seen per week), the more likely (s)he is to use social media.
The drivers of social media usage vary from use of traditional technologies and should be considered when integrating social media into healthcare professional education. Social media could be an effective tool of education, but must take into account physician characteristics and be designed around the external factors, perceptions and attitudes of the target audience.
This study was supported by Pfizer, Inc.