Social media (SM) is everywhere, and it affects all aspects of life, including health care. This study aimed to identify pharmacist activity in SM and explore the potential for pharmacist contributions using SM. Focus group discussions (FGDs) were conducted in four cities in Indonesia. The investigators collaborated with a local pharmacist association to select a wide range of pharmacists as participants. The discussions were audiotaped, transcribed, and thematically analyzed. Forty-one pharmacists participated in the FGDs. Four broad themes were identified: pharmacist use of SM, current initiatives using SM, public acceptance, and opportunities for role expansion. WhatsApp was the most used SM and had meaningful contribution to spread information and change a patient's behavior. Participants used SM mainly for personal purposes, but when it came to pharmacy and health issues, they were among the first to be contacted by patients or to counter misleading information in SM. A number of participants actively used SM for health promotion in form of sharing health information, promoting use of medicines, providing drug reminders, and encouraging compliance to medication. The public had a high trust to information provided by pharmacists in SM. Although participants believed pharmacists can play a role in educating patients and influencing the health of the communities, they considered being active in SM as burdensome, time consuming, and potential for lawsuit. SM has become a venue for pharmacists to improve the health of the people. Several unique features in SM may facilitate pharmacist contributions; however, whether pharmacists continue to undertake such initiative cannot be guaranteed.
|Journal of Basic and Clinical Physiology and Pharmacology
|Published - 1 Mar 2020
- health care
- social media