Identifying Social Media Competencies for Health Professionals: An International Modified Delphi Study to Determine Consensus for Curricular Design
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The use of social media by health professionals is widespread. However, there is a lack of training to support the effective use of these novel platforms that account for the nuances of an effective health and research communication. We sought to identify the competencies needed by health care professionals to develop an effective social media presence as a medical professional, with the goal of building a social media curriculum.
We conducted a modified Delphi study, utilizing Kraiger's Knowledge, Skills, and Attitudes framework to identify appropriate items for inclusion in a social media curriculum targeted at health care professionals. Experts in this space were defined as health care professionals who had delivered workshops, published papers, or developed prominent social media tools/accounts. They were recruited through a multimodal campaign to complete a series of 3 survey rounds designed to build consensus. In keeping with prior studies, a threshold of 80% endorsement was used for inclusion in the final list of items.
Ninety-eight participants met the expert criteria and were invited to participate in the study. Of the 98 participants, 92 (94%) experts completed the first round; of the 92 experts who completed the first round, 83 (90%) completed the second round; and of the 83 experts who completed the second round, 81 (98%) completed the third round of the Delphi study. Eighteen new items were suggested in the first survey and incorporated into the study. A total of 46 items met the 80% inclusion threshold.
We identified 46 items that were believed to be important for health care professionals using social media. This list should inform the development of curricular activities and objectives.