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Cataract/Anterior Segment

How do patients use social media after cataract surgery?

Posted on July 29, 2021
How do patients use social media after cataract surgery?

Patients rarely use social media, specifically Instagram, to document their experience after undergoing cataract surgery, however, ophthalmology professionals often use the platform to share patient testimonials and experiences, according to a poster presentation at the 2021 ASCRS Annual Meeting.

Between September 18, 2020 and October 1, 2020 the hashtags #cataract, #cataracts, #cataractsurgery, and #cataractsurgeon were used 183,156 on Instagram. The posts were analyzed to remove duplicates and any that were not related to the study focus.

Overall, ophthalmologists made 55% of the posts utilizing those hashtags, with eye institutions (22%), optometrists (8%), and corporations (5%) rounding out the top 4. Patients and students were each responsible for 2% of the posts. Most posts included photos (78%), with the remainder including graphics (13%) and videos (9%).

Just under half of all posts were considered educational (40%). Personal experience and patient experience posts accounted for 27% and 8%, respectively, and advertisements and self-promotional posts accounted for 13% and 8%, respectively.

When only posts made by ophthalmologists were included, educational content accounted for 39%, personal experience for 39%, self-promotional content for 11%, and patient experience for 5%.

“Social media is a powerful tool that ophthalmologists can use to provide cataract-related education to the general public,” the authors concluded.

Reference
Tom E, et al. Social Media and Cataract Surgery: An Analysis of Instagram Hashtags. Presented at: 2021 ASCRS Annual Meeting.

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