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Middle East African Journal of Ophthalmology Middle East African Journal of Ophthalmology
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ORIGINAL ARTICLE
Year : 2021  |  Volume : 28  |  Issue : 3  |  Page : 159-163

The use of social media among saudi ophthalmologists: A descriptive cross-sectional study


1 Division of Ophthalmology, College of Medicine, Taibah University, Medina; King Khaled Eye Specialist Hospital, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia
2 Department of Surgery, Ophthalmology Unit, College of Medicine, King Faisal University, Al-Ahsa, Saudi Arabia
3 Department of Surgery, King Abdulaziz Medical City, Jeddah, Saudi Arabia
4 Department of Ophthalmology, College of Medicine, Prince Sattam bin Abdulaziz University, Al-Kharj, Saudi Arabia
5 Department of Ophthalmology, College of Medicine, Majmaah University, Majmaah, Saudi Arabia
6 King Khaled Eye Specialist Hospital, Riyadh; Department of Surgery, Ophthalmology Unit, College of Medicine, King Faisal University, Al-Ahsa, Saudi Arabia

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Adi Mohammed Al Owaifeer
Department of Surgery, Ophthalmology Unit, College of Medicine, King Faisal University, Al-Ahsa
Saudi Arabia
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/meajo.meajo_125_21

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PURPOSE: The purpose of this study is to evaluate the use of and beliefs toward social media (SM) among Saudi ophthalmologists. METHODS: This was a cross-sectional descriptive study. A web-based, self-administered questionnaire was e-mailed to ophthalmologists within Saudi Arabia. RESULTS: Out of 392 recipients, 293 completed the survey (74.7% response rate). The vast majority (90.1%) used at least one platform for personal and professional purposes or either. The three most commonly used applications were Twitter (72.3%), Snapchat (65.9%), and Instagram (51.9%). The opinions of respondents with regard to the different aspects of SM varied widely. Around half (56.7%) believed that it was permissible for ophthalmologists to promote themselves on SM and 70.6% agreed that SM usage by health-care professionals should be regulated. Participants believe that SM had both a positive and a negative impact on their daily life and clinical practice. For example, 94 (32.1%) respondents stated that it improved their ability to educate patients, on the other hand, 80 (27.3%) reported that SM wastes quality time that can be spent on something more productive. CONCLUSION: Our results demonstrate an increased utilization of SM among Saudi ophthalmologists. The ethical aspects of SM usage were a matter of controversy among our respondents. This necessitates the establishment of guidelines by regulatory bodies and/or individual health-care organizations.


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