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      The Use of Social Media for Dissemination of Research Evidence to Health and Social Care Practitioners: Protocol for a Systematic Review


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          Effective dissemination of research to health and social care practitioners enhances clinical practice and evidence-based care. Social media use has potential to facilitate dissemination to busy practitioners.


          This is a protocol for a systematic review that will quantitatively synthesize evidence of the effectiveness of social media, compared with no social media, for dissemination of research evidence to health and social care practitioners. Social media platforms, formats, and sharing mechanisms used for effective dissemination of research evidence will also be identified and compared.


          Electronic database searches (MEDLINE, PsycINFO, CINAHL, ERIC, LISTA, and OpenGrey) will be conducted from January 1, 2010, to January 10, 2023, for studies published in English. Randomized, nonrandomized, pre-post study designs or case studies evaluating the effect of social media on dissemination of research evidence to postregistration health and social care practitioners will be included. Studies that do not involve social media or dissemination or those that evaluate dissemination of nonresearch information (eg, multisource educational materials) to students or members of the public only, or without quantitative data on outcomes of interest, will be excluded. Screening will be carried out by 2 independent reviewers. Data extraction and quality assessment, using either the Cochrane tool for assessing risk of bias or the Newcastle-Ottawa Scale, will be completed by 2 independent reviewers. Outcomes of interest will be reported in 4 domains (reach, engagement, dissemination, and impact). Data synthesis will include quantitative comparisons using narrative text, tables, and figures. A meta-analysis of standardized pooled effects will be undertaken, and subgroup analyses will be applied, if appropriate.


          Searches and screening will be completed by the end of May 2023. Data extraction and analyses will be completed by the end of July 2023, after which findings will be synthesized and reported by the end of October 2023.


          This systematic review will summarize the evidence for the effectiveness of social media for the dissemination of research evidence to health and social care practitioners. The limitations of the evidence may include multiple outcomes or methodological heterogeneity that limit meta-analyses, potential risk of bias in included studies, and potential publication bias. The limitations of the study design may include potential insensitivity of the electronic database search strategy. The findings from this review will inform the dissemination practice of health and care research.

          Trial Registration

          PROSPERO CRD42022378793; https://www.crd.york.ac.uk/prospero/display_record.php?RecordID=378793

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          Most cited references44

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          RoB 2: a revised tool for assessing risk of bias in randomised trials

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            Is Open Access

            Rayyan—a web and mobile app for systematic reviews

            Background Synthesis of multiple randomized controlled trials (RCTs) in a systematic review can summarize the effects of individual outcomes and provide numerical answers about the effectiveness of interventions. Filtering of searches is time consuming, and no single method fulfills the principal requirements of speed with accuracy. Automation of systematic reviews is driven by a necessity to expedite the availability of current best evidence for policy and clinical decision-making. We developed Rayyan (http://rayyan.qcri.org), a free web and mobile app, that helps expedite the initial screening of abstracts and titles using a process of semi-automation while incorporating a high level of usability. For the beta testing phase, we used two published Cochrane reviews in which included studies had been selected manually. Their searches, with 1030 records and 273 records, were uploaded to Rayyan. Different features of Rayyan were tested using these two reviews. We also conducted a survey of Rayyan’s users and collected feedback through a built-in feature. Results Pilot testing of Rayyan focused on usability, accuracy against manual methods, and the added value of the prediction feature. The “taster” review (273 records) allowed a quick overview of Rayyan for early comments on usability. The second review (1030 records) required several iterations to identify the previously identified 11 trials. The “suggestions” and “hints,” based on the “prediction model,” appeared as testing progressed beyond five included studies. Post rollout user experiences and a reflexive response by the developers enabled real-time modifications and improvements. The survey respondents reported 40% average time savings when using Rayyan compared to others tools, with 34% of the respondents reporting more than 50% time savings. In addition, around 75% of the respondents mentioned that screening and labeling studies as well as collaborating on reviews to be the two most important features of Rayyan. As of November 2016, Rayyan users exceed 2000 from over 60 countries conducting hundreds of reviews totaling more than 1.6M citations. Feedback from users, obtained mostly through the app web site and a recent survey, has highlighted the ease in exploration of searches, the time saved, and simplicity in sharing and comparing include-exclude decisions. The strongest features of the app, identified and reported in user feedback, were its ability to help in screening and collaboration as well as the time savings it affords to users. Conclusions Rayyan is responsive and intuitive in use with significant potential to lighten the load of reviewers.
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              GRADE: an emerging consensus on rating quality of evidence and strength of recommendations.


                Author and article information

                JMIR Res Protoc
                JMIR Res Protoc
                JMIR Research Protocols
                JMIR Publications (Toronto, Canada )
                12 May 2023
                : 12
                : e45684
                [1 ] Population Health Research Institute St George's University of London London United Kingdom
                [2 ] Bristol Population Health Science Institute University of Bristol Bristol United Kingdom
                [3 ] National Institute of Health and Care Research London United Kingdom
                [4 ] Faculty of Health, Social Care and Education St George's University of London London United Kingdom
                [5 ] School of Psychology University of Surrey Guildford United Kingdom
                [6 ] Department of Physiotherapy St George’s University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust London United Kingdom
                Author notes
                Corresponding Author: Sarah F Roberts-Lewis sroberts@ 123456sgul.ac.uk
                Author information
                ©Sarah F Roberts-Lewis, Helen A Baxter, Gill Mein, Sophia Quirke-McFarlane, Fiona J Leggat, Hannah M Garner, Martha Powell, Sarah White, Lindsay Bearne. Originally published in JMIR Research Protocols (https://www.researchprotocols.org), 12.05.2023.

                This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License ( https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work, first published in JMIR Research Protocols, is properly cited. The complete bibliographic information, a link to the original publication on https://www.researchprotocols.org, as well as this copyright and license information must be included.

                : 12 January 2023
                : 19 February 2023
                : 27 February 2023
                : 27 February 2023

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