Source: Radiography; Aug 2017; vol. 23 (no. 3); p. 249-255
Publication Date: Aug 2017
Publication Type(s): Academic Journal
Abstract:Introduction Increasingly patients and clients of health services are using social media to locate information about medical procedures and outcomes. There is increasing pressure for health professionals to engage in on-line spaces to provide clear and accurate information to their patient community. Research suggests there are some anxieties on the part of practitioners to do this. This study aimed to explore the attitudes of the NHS breast screening programme workforce towards engaging in online discussions with clients about breast screening. Method 78 practitioners, representing a range of professional roles within the NHS Breast Screening Programme, attended one of 4 workshops. We used a Nominal Group Technique to identify and rank responses to the question: " What are the challenges that practitioners face in using SoME as part of their role?" Responses were categorised into themes. Participants were also asked to identify solutions to these challenges. Results Challenges : We identified two overarching themes: (1) Working within boundaries : which was further categorised into (a) Professional/legal accountability; (b) Information accuracy and (c)Time as a boundary, and (2) Support : further categorised into (a) Employer and (b) Manager. Solutions: These included: training in technical and interactional aspects of on-line communication and a responsibility to better understand employer and professional body SoMe policies. Conclusion The study participants appeared willing and motivated to engage in SoMe. However, in keeping with the literature from other disciplines, a number of challenges need to be overcome for its use to be adopted more widely by breast screening professionals.