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Purpose The characteristics of pharmacist blogs were examined.
Methods Internet search engines, blog aggregators, and blog rolls were used to identify pharmacist blogs. Six categories were developed to evaluate blogs, including practice-based topics, identifying information, positive language, critical language, professionalism, and miscellaneous. The most recent five posts on each pharmacist blog were reviewed. Descriptive statistics were used to characterize the results.
Results A total of 117 blogs were identified, 44 of which were designated as pharmacist blogs. No blogs contained patient-identifying information. Anonymity was maintained by 68.2% of bloggers. Bloggers practiced in community (43.1%) and noncommunity (43.1%) settings. Pharmacists most commonly used positive language to describe the profession (32%), other health care professionals (25%), and patients (25%). The highest rates of critical language were found in descriptions of patients (57%) and other health care professionals (44%). Almost half of pharmacist blogs contained explicit or unprofessional language. Overall, community practitioner blogs were substantially more likely than noncommunity practitioner blogs to use unprofessional and critical language. Twenty-five percent of pharmacist bloggers also maintained a microblog (e.g., Twitter) account.
Conclusion A search using Internet search engines, blog aggregators, and blog rolls identified 117 blogs, 44 of which met the study criteria for designation as pharmacist blogs. The majority of pharmacist blogs included some type of discussion of pharmacologic therapies. Pharmacists most commonly used positive language to describe the profession, other health care professionals, and patients. The highest rates of critical language were found in descriptions of patients and other health care professionals.
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