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Med Teach. 2018 Sep;40(sup1):S77-S82. doi: 10.1080/0142159X.2018.1465536. Epub 2018 May 6.

The pattern of social media use and its association with academic performance among medical students.

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a KSU Chair for Medical Education Research and Development, Department of Family and Community Medicine, College of Medicine , King Saud University , Riyadh , Saudi Arabia.
b Medical Education Development and Research Centre, Faculty of Medicine , University of Colombo , Colombo , Sri Lanka.
c Medical Informatics and e-Learning Unit, College of Medicine , King Saud University , Riyadh , Saudi Arabia.
d Department of Educational Development, Faculty of Health, Medicine and Life Sciences, School of Health Professions Education , Research Maastricht University , Maastricht , The Netherlands.
e Department, Bio statistical Consultant CDRC, College of Dentistry , King Saud University , Riyadh , Saudi Arabia.
f College of Medicine , King Saud University , Riyadh , Saudi Arabia.



There are concerns that the use of social media (SM) among medical students could affect academic performance. The objectives of the study were to investigate the pattern and reasons for SM use and their association with academic performance.


A stratified random sample, frequency distribution and comparison of categorical variables with Chi-square and Fisher exact tests were used.


Of the 97% who responded, 98% used SM. The most popular were Whatsapp (87.8%), You tube (60.8%) and Twitter (51.8%) for general use; while You tube (83.5%), Whatsapp (35.5%) and Twitter (35.3%) for learning. For general use, there was a significant higher number of visits to You tube and Facebook among male students, while the reverse was true for Instagram and Path. Around 71% visited SM >4 times/day and 55% spent 1-4 hours/day. The main reasons for SM use were entertainment (95.8%), staying up-to-date with news (88.3%), and socializing (85.5%); for academic studies (40%). There was no significant association between Grade Point Average and the frequency of daily SM use or use during lectures.


While almost all the students used SM, only a minority used them for academic purposes. SM use was not associated with academic performance.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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