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N Am J Med Sci. 2016 Jul;8(7):268-78. doi: 10.4103/1947-2714.187131.

The Usage of Social Networking Sites by Medical Students for Educational Purposes: A Meta-analysis and Systematic Review.

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1
Department of Surgery, Consultant Colorectal Surgeon, College of Medicine, Taibah University, Almadinah Almunawwarah, Saudi Arabia.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Online social networking sites (SNSs) (e.g., Facebook, MySpace, Flickr, Twitter and YouTube) have emerged as rapidly growing mechanisms to exchange personal and professional information among university students. This research aims to determine the medical students' extent of usage of SNSs for educational purposes.

MATERIALS AND METHODS:

Educational Resources Information Centre (ERIC), Cumulative Index of Nursing and Allied Health Literature (CINAHL), the Cochrane library, and Excerpta Medica Data Base (EMBASE) were searched to retrieve articles from 2004 to 2014, applying predefined search terms and inclusion criteria. The extracted 10 articles were outlined in a narrative synthesis of Quality, Utility, Extent, Strength, Target and Setting of the evidence (QUESTS).

RESULTS:

Majority (75%) of the respondents admitted using SNSs, whereas 20% used these sites for sharing academic and educational information. No single study explored the impact of the SNSs on the academic performance.

CONCLUSION:

Understanding and knowledge of the significant use of SNSs by the medical students demand inclusion of such domains in medical curricula. This will train tomorrow's doctors in fostering their skills of digital technology for educational purposes.

KEYWORDS:

Facebook; LinkedIn; Myspace; Twitter; medical education; social media; social networking sites

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