Indexed on: 07 Apr '19Published on: 06 Apr '19Published in: BMJ open
To assess the effects of using health social media on different days of the working week on web activity. Individually randomised controlled parallel group superiority trial. Twitter and Weibo. 194 Cochrane Schizophrenia Group full reviews with an abstract and plain language summary web page. There were no human participants. Three randomly ordered slightly different messages (maximum of 140 characters), each containing a short URL to the freely accessible summary page, were sent on specific times on a single day. Each of these messages sent on Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday was compared with the one sent on Monday. The primary outcome was visits to the relevant Cochrane summary web page at 1 week. Secondary outcomes were other metrics of web activity at 1 week. There was no evidence that disseminating microblogs on different days of the working week resulted in any differences in target website activity as measured by Google Analytics (n=194, all page views, adjusted ratios of geometric means 0.86 (95% CI 0.63 to 1.18), 0.88 (95% CI 0.64 to 1.21), 0.88 (95% CI 0.65 to 1.21), 0.91 (95% CI 0.66 to 1.24) for Tuesday-Friday, respectively, overall p=0.89). There were consistent findings for all outcomes. However, activity on the review site substantially increased compared with weeks preceding the intervention. There are no clear differences in the effect when 1 weekday is compared with another, but our study suggests that using microblogging social media such as Twitter and Weibo do increase information-seeking behaviour on health. Tweet any day but do Tweet. © Author(s) (or their employer(s)) 2019. Re-use permitted under CC BY-NC. No commercial re-use. See rights and permissions. Published by BMJ.