Research Article
Volume 13 Issue 12 - 2021
Attitudes Toward Social Media among Practicing Doctors and Medical Students in Clinical Years in Saudi Arabia During the COVID-19 Pandemic

Somaya Abdulrahman*1, Albatul Alqahtani2, Eman Alsaber3, Jamila Asiri4, Kholoud Algeshebi5, Rawan Salawati4 and Wejdan Alzahrani6

1Private Dental Practice, Makkah, Saudi Arabia
2King Khalid University, Faculty of Medicine, Abha, Saudi Arabia
3Ministry of Health, Al Iman General Hospital, Obstetrics and Gynecology Department, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia
4Umm Al Qura University, Faculty of Medicine, Makkah, Saudi Arabia
5King Fahad General Hospital, Neurology Department, Faculty of Medicine, Jeddah, Saudi Arabia
6King Fahad General Hospital, Cardiology Department, Jeddah, Saudi Arabia
*Corresponding Author: Somaya Abdulrahman, Private Dental Practice, Makkah, Saudi Arabia.
Received: November 09, 2021; Published: November 22, 2021


Introduction: Social media (SM) use by health care practitioners has been rising significantly, both professionally and in their daily lives.

Aim: To assess attitudes about SM among practicing doctors and medical students in clinical years in Saudi Arabia during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Methods: This cross-sectional study collected data from 145 medical students and physicians in Saudi Arabia. Data were collected via a self-reported questionnaire that measured the participant’s number of SM accounts, number of days spent on SM platforms, reasons for using SM, attitudes about what constitutes unprofessional use of SM, and the effects of COVID-19 on SM use. SPSS was used to analyze the data.

Results: The mean (M) days of SM account use was 4.65 days, and the standard deviation (SD) was 2.23. The highest number of days of SM platform use were for WhatsApp (M = 5.24, SD = 2.16) and Snapchat (M = 4.47, SD = 2.49). The most frequent personal reasons for using SM were spending time for leisure (89%) and finding useful information (86.9%). The most common professional reasons for using SM were learning from other professionals (85.5%) and finding medical information (82.1%). The behaviors that were rated most frequently as unprofessional when using SM were posting information/photos about a patient without the patient’s permission (76.6%) and using vulgar words (74.5%).

Conclusion: Medical students and physicians in Saudi Arabia use SM extensively. The majority reported that posting information/photos about a patient without the patient’s permission was unprofessional. COVID-19 was reported to increase SM use. It is recommended to have more restrictive guidelines for posting patient information without permission by medical practitioners in Saudi Arabia.

Keywords: Attitudes Toward Social; Practicing Doctors; During the COVID-19 Pandemic


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Citation: Somaya Abdulrahman., et al. “Attitudes Toward Social Media among Practicing Doctors and Medical Students in Clinical Years in Saudi Arabia During the COVID-19 Pandemic”. EC Neurology 13.12 (2021): 26-33.

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