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Journal of Neurosurgical Sciences 2022 Sep 16

DOI: 10.23736/S0390-5616.22.05845-3


language: English

Social media in neurosurgery during COVID-19: an evaluation of the role of Neurosurgery Cocktail platform

Chi H. LE 1, Noah NAWABI 2, Colette WHITE 3, Deen L. GARBA 4, Giuseppe E. UMANA 5 , Michael T. LAWTON 6, Kanwaljeet GARG 7, Juha HERNESNIEMI 8, Andre E. BOYKE 9, Adam AMMAR 4, 9, Bipin CHAURASIA 10

1 School of Medicine, Vanderbilt University, Nashville, TN, USA; 2 Computational Neuroscience Outcomes Center at Harvard, Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Harvard University, Boston, MA, USA; 3 University of California Los Angeles, Los Angeles, CA, USA; 4 Program in Global Surgery and Social Change, Harvard Medical School, Harvard University, Boston, MA, USA; 5 Department of Neurosurgery, Trauma and Gamma-Knife Center, Cannizzaro Hospital, Catania, Italy; 6 Department of Neurosurgery, Barrow Neurological Institute, St. Joseph’s Hospital and Medical Centre, Phoenix, AZ, USA; 7 Department of Neurosurgery, All-India Institute of Medical Sciences, New Delhi, India; 8 Juha Hernesniemi International Centre for Neurosurgery, Henan Provincial People’s Hospital, Zhengzhou, China; 9 Department of Neurosurgery, Albert Einstein College of Medicine, Montefiore Medical Center, Bronx, NY, USA; 10 Department of Neurosurgery, Nilkantha Hospital and Research Center, Birgunj, Nepal


BACKGROUND: Social media use in neurosurgery remains an understudied phenomenon. Our study aims to examine the global membership and engagement of the prominent Neurosurgery Cocktail Facebook group with over 25,000 neurosurgeons and trainees worldwide, specifically during the COVID-19 pandemic.
METHODS: Neurosurgery Cocktail’s numbers of members, posts, comments, and reactions were collected from December 2019 to November 2020. Anonymized aggregate data of members’ characteristics, including age, sex, and country of origin in November 2020, were also obtained. The most engaging posts in November 2020 were categorized into topics by a majority consensus of 3 reviewers.
RESULTS: The average number of members steadily increased from 21,266 in December 2019 to 25,218 in November 2020. In November 2020, 18.8% of members were women, and 71.3% were between 25-44 years old. With members from 100 countries, 77.9% are from low-and middle-income countries, with the highest representation from India, Egypt, and Brazil. After the COVID-19 pandemic declaration, daily engagement peaked in April 2020 with a daily average of 41.63 posts, 336.4 comments, and 1,914.6 reactions before returning to prepandemic levels. Among the 99 top posts in November 2020, the majority (56.5%) were classified as “interesting cases”, with “education-related” as the second-most common topic (16.2%).
CONCLUSIONS: Neurosurgery Cocktail has shown steady growth since its creation. The COVID-19 pandemic was correlated with a spike in activity without lasting impact. The group demonstrates social media’s potential for knowledge exchange and promoting organic international collaborations.

KEY WORDS: Global neurosurgery; Social media; Neurosurgery cocktail

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