Social Media as Source of Medical Information for Healthcare Students
Introduction: The scope of the research was a more detailed understanding of the influence of social media and the importance of student’s usage of social media context in relation to medical information. The research aimed to increase the understanding of social media and the impact on medical information use, informing policy and practice while highlighting gaps in the literature and areas for further research. Methods: The search of PubMed database was performed in October 2015, using terms to identify peer-reviewed research in which social media technologies were an important feature for health occupations, premedical, pharmacy, nursing or medical students. A systematic approach was used to retrieve papers and extract relevant data. Results: There were initially identified 435 studies involving social media, healthcare information and medical students subject headings (MeSH) terminology. After filtering for free full text articles, and exclusion of not students or social media specific ones, 33 articles were reviewed. The majority of the studies were interventional studies that either assessed the outcomes of online discussion groups or teaching methods through social media. The majority of studies focused on the use of social media as a teaching tool, how students use it and the implications upon their education. The largest number of original papers was published in 2013. Facebook, Podcasts, Multiplayer virtual worlds, Blogs, and Twitter were identified as being used by medical students. Conclusion: Social media is used as a tool of information for students mainly as the means for engaging and communicating with students.