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Social media and eprofessionalism in pharmacy students.

Brown, Alyson; MacLure, Katie


Alyson Brown

Katie MacLure


Background: Literature suggests inappropriate use of social media (SoMe) is evident amongst undergraduate (UG) pharmacy students with a lack of understanding of potential implications for their fitness to practise (FtP). There is a need for guidance which will be acceptable and directly applicable to UG pharmacy students. Methods: Activity-based focus groups were conducted with UG pharmacy students, informed by existing literature and a previous study by the research team. The topic guide formed the framework for thematic data analysis. Ethical approval was gained. Results: Four focus groups were conducts with 32 students across all 4 stages of the MPharm course. The majority of participants did not use SoMe guidelines despite daily SoMe use, but used personal judgement to decide on appropriate SoMe content. Some elements of existing guidance were seen as valuable but lacked balance of content/tone and examples of appropriate SoMe behaviours. There was no agreement on 'appropriate behaviours' however concerns emerged around guidance impinging personal personas and impacting perceptions of e-professionalism. Conclusion: Guidelines for UG pharmacy students should address concerns surrounding eprofessionalism and include examples of good practice. They should contain clear 'points for practice' in a simple, user-friendly format alongside a lecture or video presentation. Whilst students were aware of profession-specific guidance, student-specific guidance was viewed as beneficial to support undergraduate students, in particular with the blurred boundaries between personal-professional personas.


BROWN, A. and MACLURE, K. 2018. Social media and eprofessionalism in pharmacy students. Presented at the 47th European symposium on clinical pharmacy (ESCP 2018): personalised pharmacy care, 24-26 October 2018, Belfast, UK.

Presentation Conference Type Poster
Conference Name 47th European symposium on clinical pharmacy (ESCP 2018): personalised pharmacy care
Conference Location Belfast, UK
Start Date Oct 24, 2018
End Date Oct 26, 2018
Publicly Available Date Jun 18, 2019
Keywords Undergraduate students; Pharmacy students; SoMe; Social media; Fitness to practice
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