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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.