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Social Media Sensationalism in the Male Infertility Space: A Mixed Methodology Analysis

The World Journal of Men′s Health 2020년 38권 4호 p.591 ~ 598
Zaila Kassandra E., Osadchiy Vadim, Shahinyan Robert H., Mills Jesse N., Eleswarapu Sriram V.,
소속 상세정보
 ( Zaila Kassandra E. ) - University of California David Geffen School of Medicine Department of Urology
 ( Osadchiy Vadim ) - University of California David Geffen School of Medicine Department of Urology
 ( Shahinyan Robert H. ) - University of California David Geffen School of Medicine Department of Urology
 ( Mills Jesse N. ) - University of California David Geffen School of Medicine Department of Urology
 ( Eleswarapu Sriram V. ) - University of California David Geffen School of Medicine Department of Urology

Abstract


Purpose: Infertile couples increasingly turn to the internet for medical guidance. The aims of this study were: (1) to identify popular male infertility content on social media, and (2) to assess the accuracy and quality of this content. We hypothesized that inaccurate/misleading information proliferates online.

Materials and Methods: We used the analytics module BuzzSumo to identify article links that were most shared on Facebook, Pinterest, Reddit, and Twitter related to male infertility during September 2018 to August 2019. We excluded articles with <100 engagements, defined as “likes,” “comments,” and “shares.” Two researchers graded content as accurate, misleading, or inaccurate by comparing content to references cited and contemporary research. Inter-rater reliability was determined with Cohen's κ. Binary logistic regression was performed to compare user engagement with accurate versus inaccurate/misleading articles.

Results: Fifty-two unique article links were identified, with 421,004 total engagements. Thirty-four articles referenced 15 scientific studies; no reference was available for 18 links. Fifty-six percent of articles were accurate and 44% misleading/inaccurate (κ=0.743). No significant difference was found in total engagement between accurate vs. misleading/inaccurate links (p=0.805). Twenty-four percent of engagements referenced studies using non-human models, and 26% of studies had sample sizes <100.

Conclusions: Social media platforms foster engagement with male infertility information. However, sensationalism predominates, as patients are highly likely to encounter misleading/inaccurate information, articles that overstate implications of animal research, and conclusions made based on limited sample sizes. Urologists should consider adding social media to their armamentarium to stave off misinformation and engage proactively with patients.

키워드

Infertility, male; Internet; Social media; Sperm

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