Social Media Use in Dental Practice by Dental Practitioners of India: A Cross-sectional Survey
Dr. Anunay Bhaskarrao Pangarikar,
ESIC Dental College, Kalburgi, Gulbarnga, Karnataka, India.
Introduction: In recent years, social media use has been increased by healthcare professionals (HCPs) in their healthcare practice and it has emerged as a new platform for disseminationof knowledge, information exchange, and interpersonal communication.
Aim: This study was conducted with an aim to assess the use of social media in dental practice among dental practitioners in India.
Materials and Methods: This cross-sectional survey was conducted from October 2019 to March 2020 at Bharati Vidyapeeth (Deemed to be University) Dental College and Hospital, Pune, Maharashtra, India by implementing a 15-item questionnaire to 36218 dental practitioners in India registered with Indian Dental Association through an Electronic Survey Application. The questionnaire consisted of a section on demographic details of the participants which included their age, gender, type and number of years of practice. Second section consisted of items about the use of social media in dental practice and one open ended question on the topic. Data was analyzed using descriptive statistics and comparisons were made using a chi-square test. The Statistical Package for Social Sciences (SPSS) version 20.0 was used for data analysis. Level of significance was kept at 5%.
Results: A total of 3180 dentists responded and returned the filled questionnaire. Social media was used by 1980 (62.3%) of dentists in their practice and the most commonly used platform was WhatsApp 1650 (83.3% of social media users). Most common reason for using social media in dental practice was for learning new things related to dentistry and staying updated 1470 (74.2%) followed by participation into discussion related to dentistry 1170 (59.1%). Dentists younger than 45 years (p=0.002), dentists with practice of less than 10 years (p<0.001), dentists with specialty practice (p<0.001) and dentists having practice website (p<0.001) were more likely to use social media in their dental practice.
Conclusion: Dental practitioners are actively incorporating social media in their practice and non-users also showed interest in incorporating social media into their practice in near future albeit some of them were lacking in the knowledge of the same.