Soapbox 2.0: Use of blogs by pharmacists
I saw a tweet by John @Poikonen that alerted me to the fact that a second article in as many weeks has been published on pharmacy and blogs. Two pharmacy students (Justin Elkins and Chilla Goncz) and I authored “Use of blogs by pharmacists“, which appears in the new issue of the American Journal of Health System Pharmacy. We identified all blogs that were pharmacist-authored, active (i.e. posts in the last 3 months), and written in English. Blogs focused on pharmacy, but not written by a pharmacist were excluded. Forty-four blogs were identified that fit those criteria. We used the most recent 5 posts to assess the blogs based on six categories (e.g. practice based topics, identifying information, positive language, critical language, professionalism and miscellaneous).
Most pharmacist blogs (68%) were written anonymously (versus 43% in Lagu’s study of physician and nurse blogs). Pharmacist bloggers were equally represented by community (43%) and non-community settings (43%); the practice settings of the remainder were indeterminable. These blogs most commonly used positive language to describe the profession (32%), other health care professionals (25%), and patients (25%). Critical language was more commonly observed in descriptions of patients (57%); almost half of all posts contained profane or explicit language (48%).
Most of the blogs (71%) contained mentions of pharmacologic therapies and current healthcare events (66%). We also noted that 25% of these bloggers had a Twitter account (relative to 11% of the general population in the same timeframe per Pew). Out of the 11 pharmacist blogs that were ranked by Technorati, all but two were primarily of a ‘ranting’ nature (e.g. Angry Pharmacist, Angriest Pharmacist, Your Pharmacist May Hate You). Interestingly, the only two ranked, but non-ranting blogs were written by non-US pharmacists.
Our full AJHP article lists all of the 44 blogs and while it is not open access, my hope is that via ASHP Connect and rapid response that this list of pharmacist blogs can be updated and curated using our article as a starting point.
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