Format

Send to

Choose Destination
J Med Ethics. 2011 Feb;37(2):101-4. doi: 10.1136/jme.2010.036293. Epub 2010 Dec 15.

Facebook activity of residents and fellows and its impact on the doctor-patient relationship.

Author information

1
Service de Cardiologie, Hôpital Lariboisière - Assistance Publique-Hôpitaux de Paris, 2, rue Ambroise Paré, 75010 Paris, France. ghassan.moubarak@gmail.com

Abstract

AIM:

Facebook is an increasingly popular online social networking site. The purpose of this study was to describe the Facebook activity of residents and fellows and their opinions regarding the impact of Facebook on the doctor-patient relationship.

METHODS:

An anonymous questionnaire was emailed to 405 residents and fellows at the Rouen University Hospital, France, in October 2009.

RESULTS:

Of the 202 participants who returned the questionnaire (50%), 147 (73%) had a Facebook profile. Among responders, 138 (99%) displayed their real name on their profile, 136 (97%) their birthdates, 128 (91%) a personal photograph, 83 (59%) their current university and 76 (55%) their current position. Default privacy settings were changed by 61% of users, more frequently if they were registered for >1 year (p=0.02). If a patient requested them as a 'friend', 152 (85%) participants would automatically decline the request, 26 (15%) would decide on an individual basis and none would automatically accept the request. Eighty-eight participants (48%) believed that the doctor-patient relationship would be altered if patients discovered that their doctor had a Facebook account, but 139 (76%) considered that it would change only if the patient had open access to their doctor's profile, independent of its content.

CONCLUSIONS:

Residents and fellows frequently use Facebook and display personal information on their profiles. Insufficient privacy protection might have an impact the doctor-patient relationship.

PMID:
21160080
DOI:
10.1136/jme.2010.036293
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for HighWire
Loading ...
Support Center