Interaction of Twitter Users with Blood Donation Requests in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia: A Cross-Sectional Study
Background: Twitter is currently one of the important social networking platforms worldwide and especially in the Arab community. In Saudi Arabia alone, there are more than 4.5 million users, among which, are those with Twitter accounts who promote the need for blood donors. The extent of public interaction with such requests and the awareness of the Saudi society, regarding blood donation requests and dissemination, remain unclear and have not been studied. This study made attempts to address how people interact with these requests on Twitter. Materials and methods: A cross-sectional study was conducted from October 2017 to April 2018 using an electronic self-administrated questionnaire. The study included 865 individuals living in Saudi Arabia. Results: the majority of participants in this study were female (86.2%). More than half of the participants were between 20-29 years of age. Most participants (89.6%) agreed that Twitter has a significant impact on blood donation, and 95.5% of participants believed Twitter could develop public attitude towards blood donation. A further 97.8% agreed that Twitter could increase public awareness about the importance of blood donation. Results showed interaction with blood requests is limited to reading and retweeting the requests. Furthermore, users were shown to have positive attitude towards blood donation through Twitter, which suggests social acceptance of the dissemination of blood donation requests using this platform. Conclusion: The interactions towards blood donation is limited to within Twitter and not translated to an actual donation, highlighting the need for increased knowledge and awareness in this area.