Adherence to professionalism and ethical practice on social media among dentists in Nairobi
Objective: To assess utilization of social media platforms for professional use and awareness of existing guidelines among dentists in Nairobi.
Design: Descriptive cross-sectional study.
Setting: Nairobi County, Kenya.
Subjects: Dentists in clinical practice within Nairobi County.
Results: Sixty- six dentists participated in the study. WhatsApp and Facebook were the most popular social media platforms at 30.5% and 23.3% respectively. Four (6.1%) of the dentists disagreed while 2 (3%) strongly disagreed on cross checking their content for possible online misconduct. Clinical scenarios and patients’ clinical pictures were the most shared professional information at 62.5% and 50.0% respectively. 41% of respondents were not updated on existing global social media guidelines and 66.7% of dentists welcomed the idea of having a locally drafted document on social media guidelines.
Conclusion: Social media platforms are used in the medical profession. However, 41% of dentists had limited awareness regarding existing global guidelines and several reported that they did not cross check their social media content for possible unprofessional content. This fact coupled with the absence of national guidelines on ethical use of social media by medical professionals indicates potential for online misconduct among dentists in our setup