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BMC Med Educ. 2015 Feb 15;15:18. doi: 10.1186/s12909-015-0300-y.

Assessment of medical students' attitudes on social media use in medicine: a cross-sectional study.

Author information

1
Department of Public Health, Faculty of Medicine, Afyon Kocatepe University, Afyonkarahisar, Turkey. drkavci@yahoo.com.
2
Department of Public Health, Faculty of Medicine, Afyon Kocatepe University, Afyonkarahisar, Turkey. sevdagerek@hotmail.com.
3
Afyon Kocatepe University, Faculty of Medicine, 5th Grade Medical Student, Afyonkarahisar, Turkey. semiheren92@hotmail.com.
4
Afyon Kocatepe University, Faculty of Medicine, 5th Grade Medical Student, Afyonkarahisar, Turkey. dogukanaydeniz70@hotmail.com.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Social media has created a revolution in health services. Information available on the Internet and via social media is now being used as reference guides for sensitive health issues by nonprofessionals, physicians, and medical students. When used by physicians and medical students, social media has the potential to raise issues such as the blurring of the line between professional and private lives, patient relations, and medical ethics. The aim of this cross-sectional study was to evaluate the use of social media and attitudes toward its use in medicine among medical students.

METHODS:

Medical students from Afyon Kocatepe University, Faculty of Medicine (Afyonkarahisar, Turkey) were asked to participate in a survey consisting of two sections, the first containing questions assessing the frequency of social media use and the second regarding attitudes toward the use of social media in medicine.

RESULTS:

Survey responses indicated that 93.4% of medical students used social media and 89.3% used social media for professional purposes. Factor analysis showed that attitudes toward social media are based on five factors: professional usefulness, popularity, ethics, barriers, and innovativeness. A structural equation model revealed the highest positive correlation between usefulness and innovativeness; ethics had a low but positive correlation with other factors.

CONCLUSIONS:

Although social media is being used extensively by medical students, they appear unaware of possible ethical issues. Therefore, social media guidelines should be developed.

PMID:
25890252
PMCID:
PMC4372282
DOI:
10.1186/s12909-015-0300-y
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article
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