Activities in a social networking-based discussion group by endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography doctors

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Online social networking is increasingly being used among medical practitioners. However, few studies have evaluated its use in therapeutic endoscopy. Here, we aimed to analyze the shared topics and activities of a group of endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography (ERCP) doctors in a social networking-based endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography discussion group (EDG).

Materials and methods

Six ERCP trainers working in Xijing Hospital and 48 graduated endoscopists who had finished ERCP training in the same hospital were invited to join in EDG. All group members were informed not to divulge any private information of patients when using EDG. The activities of group members on EDG were retrospectively extracted. The individual data of the graduated endoscopists were collected by a questionnaire.


From June 2014 to May 2015, 6924 messages were posted on EDG, half of which were ERCP related. In total, 214 ERCP-related topics were shared, which could be categorized into three types: sharing experience/cases (52.3%), asking questions (38.3%), and sharing literatures/advances (9.3%). Among the 48 graduated endoscopists, 21 had a low case volume of less than 50 per year and 27 had a high volume case volume of 50 or more. High-volume graduated endoscopists posted more ERCP-related messages (P=0.008) and shared more discussion topics (P=0.003) compared with low-volume graduated endoscopists. A survey showed that EDG was useful for graduated endoscopists in ERCP performance and management of post-ERCP complications, etc.


A wide range of ERCP-related topics were shared on the social networking-based EDG. The ERCP-related behaviors on EDG were more active in graduated endoscopists with an ERCP case volume of more than 50 per year.

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