01.22 A Comparative Analysis of the Reach of Trauma Surgery on Instagram and TikTok

D. R. Crosby1, J. Creary2, E. Brown1, A. Fields1, M. G. Sharpe3, A. Badrinathan4, V. P. Ho5  1Case Western Reserve University, Department Of Nutritional Biochemistry And Metabolism, Cleveland, OHIO, USA 2Case Western Reserve University, Department Of Biology, Cleveland, OHIO, USA 3Case Western Reserve University School Of Medicine, Cleveland, OH, USA 4University Hospitals Medical Center, Department Of Surgery, Cleveland, OHIO, USA 5MetroHealth Medical Center, Department Of Trauma Surgery, Cleveland, OH, USA

Introduction: Social media is a powerful tool to spread information about trauma surgery. Our prior research found that most of the trauma-related content published via podcasts and YouTube videos was not created by licensed professionals. We sought to evaluate the source of trauma surgery content in extremely short-format social media via Instagram (IG) and TikTok (TK). Further, we wanted to describe the level of public engagement with trauma surgery content on these two platforms.

Methods:  The terms “trauma surgery” and “trauma” were searched in IG and TK. Corresponding profile descriptions, the intended audience, and frequency of posting were recorded. To examine engagement levels, the © HypeAuditor Engagement Rate Calculator was used to collect the average number of likes and comments for IG and the average number of likes and the total number of videos for TK accounts with high engagement. Differences between platforms were compared using a chi-square.

Results: 186 accounts were included (IG=103, TK=83). IG accounts were more likely to focus on psychological trauma (40, 39%) when compared to TK (2, 2%). On both platforms, the included profiles primarily post content daily (48%). The highest number of followers and highest number of likes per post on TK was 812.2K and 22.7K, while on IG it was 9.8K and 13.2K. The IG profiles that focused on physical trauma with high engagement made an average of 642 posts compared to their TK counterparts at 723 videos. 52 TK accounts (63%) were run by medical professionals (residents, doctors, nurses, or physician’s assistants), compared with only 30 IG pages (29%), p<0.001. IG content (39%) was more likely to be designed for medical professional audiences when compared to TK (31%), p<0.01. TK (55%) was more likely to be designed for the general population than IG (30%), p<0.01.

Conclusion: TK has been adopted by more medical professionals than IG to spread information about trauma surgery. TK accounts also have higher user engagement and were targeted to general population audiences. TK and IG are frequently utilized to engage the public about trauma surgery.