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Cureus ; 14(3): e23361, 2022 Mar.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1791866


Introduction The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic disrupted traditional in-person learning models. Free Open Access Medical (FOAM) education resources naturally filled this void, so we evaluated how medical blog and podcast utilization changed during the early months of the pandemic. Methods Academic medical podcast and blog producers were surveyed on blog and podcast utilization immediately before (January-March 2020) and after (April-May 2020) the COVID-19 pandemic declaration and subsequent lockdown. Utilization is quantified in terms of blog post pageviews and podcast downloads. Linear regression was used to estimate the effect of publication during the COVID-19 period on 30-day downloads or pageviews. A linear mixed model was developed to confirm this relationship after adjustment for independent predictors of higher 30-day downloads or pageviews, using the podcast or blog as a random intercept. Results Compared to the pre-pandemic period, downloads and pageviews per unique blog and podcast publication significantly increased for blogs (median 30-day pageviews 802 to 1860, p<0.0001) but not for podcasts (median 30-day downloads 2726 to 1781, p=0.27). Publications that contained COVID-19 content were strongly associated with higher monthly utilization (ß=7.21, 95% CI 6.29-8.14 p<0.001), and even non-COVID-19 material had higher utilization in the early pandemic (median 30-day downloads/pageviews 868 to 1380, p<0.0001). Discussion The increased blog pageviews during the early months of the COVID-19 pandemic demonstrated the important role of blogs in rapid knowledge translation. Podcasts did not experience a similar increase in utilization.

Neurol Sci ; 42(11): 4437-4445, 2021 Nov.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1353704


BACKGROUND: As medical education shifted to a virtual environment during the early coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic, we evaluated how neurology podcasting may have been utilized during this period, and which features of podcasts have been more highly sought by a medical audience. METHODS: We conducted a retrospective analysis of neurology-themed blogs and/or podcasts between April 2019 and May 2020. Programs were eligible if they reported mean monthly downloads > 2000, were affiliated with an academic society, or offered continuing medical education credit. Thirty-day download counts were compared between study months, with adjustment for multiple testing. Exploratory analyses were performed to determine which podcast features were associated with higher downloads. RESULTS: Of the 12 neurology podcasts surveyed, 8 completed the survey and 5 met inclusion criteria. The median monthly download count was 2865 (IQR 869-7497), with significant variability between programs (p < 0.001). While there was a 358% increase in downloads during April 2020 when compared to the previous month, this was not significant (median 8124 [IQR 2913-14,177] vs. 2268 [IQR 540-6116], padj = 0.80). The non-significant increase in overall downloads during April 2020 corresponded to an increase in unique episodes during that month (r = 0.48, p = 0.003). There was no difference in 30-day downloads among episodes including COVID-19 content versus not (median 1979 [IQR 791-2873] vs. 1171 [IQR 405-2665], p = 0.28). CONCLUSIONS: In this unique, exploratory study of academic neurology-themed podcasts, there was no significant increase in episode downloads during the early COVID-19 pandemic. A more comprehensive analysis of general and subspecialty medical podcasts is underway.

Pandemics , Humans , Retrospective Studies