Social media particularly Facebook has become a popular platform amongst medical professionals for both social and professional interactions. However, given the nature of such platforms, their use raises ethical concerns including violation of patient privacy and blurring of classical professional and patient-physician relationship boundaries. In order to investigate the pattern of Facebook usage among medical professionals in Pakistan, a mixed method study was conducted at five medical institutions in three different cities including Karachi, Lahore and Islamabad. 806 participants, including 87 faculty members, 239 trainees and 350 medical students, responded to the quantitative survey. Results were analysed using Statistical Package for Social Sciences (SPSS). For the qualitative arm, focus group discussions and in-depth interviews were conducted among different groups, and analysed to draw out common themes. Results show that 44% of respondents found professional utility for Facebook. 36% of respondents had never changed their privacy settings and 44% indicated lack of confidence in current privacy settings of the medium. Respondents had posted identifiable patient content (7%) and non-identifiable patient content (10%), with students and trainees posting such content more frequently than faculty.


Additional Information

Print ISSN
pp. 272-289
Launched on MUSE
Open Access
Archive Status
Archived 2017
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