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Social media use, attitudes, behaviours and perceptions of online professionalism amongst dental students

Kenny, Philip and Johnson, Ilona Gail 2016. Social media use, attitudes, behaviours and perceptions of online professionalism amongst dental students. British Dental Journal 221 , 651 -655. 10.1038/sj.bdj.2016.864

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Use of social media has increased amongst health professionals. This has benefits for patient care but also introduces risks for confidentiality and professional fitness to practise. This study aimed to examine dental student attitudes towards professional behaviour on social media. The secondary aim was to establish the extent and nature of social media use and exposure to potentially unprofessional behaviours. A cross-sectional study was carried out in one dental school. Data were collected using questionnaires to examine social media use, perceptions and attitudes towards social media and professional behaviours online. Students who responded (n=155) all used social media at least once per week; most used more than one platform. Students were aware of the relationship between social media use and professional practice. Posting drunken photographs and interacting with staff and patients online were widely considered as unprofessional. Security settings affected behaviour and most had seen inappropriate behaviours online. Students use social media extensively. Students are aware of the risks but there is a greater sense of safety in closed groups and many students are exposed to potentially inappropriate content online. This suggests that there are opportunities to reduce these risks through training to help students manage these risks.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Published Online
Status: Published
Schools: Dentistry
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HM Sociology
R Medicine > RK Dentistry
Publisher: Nature Publishing Group
ISSN: 0007-0610
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 20 October 2016
Date of Acceptance: 15 September 2016
Last Modified: 10 Jul 2017 02:27

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