Internet and Social Media use among Pharmacists in a state in Nigeria
Objectives: This study determined the use of internet and social media by pharmacists in Delta State as well as their experiences with the internet and patients.
Method: This was achieved through the use of a 32 item, structured questionnaire, pretested and administered to 100 pharmacists attending the quarterly meeting of Pharmaceutical Society of Nigeria in Abraka, Delta State. Use of internet and social media were evaluated by Chi square analysis, using SPSS 20. At 95% confidence interval, a 2-tailed, P- value less than 0.05 was considered significant.
Results: Of 100 questionnaires administered, 81 were returned, giving a response rate of 81%. Majorities (29.6%) were aged 30-39 years, there were more males (54.3%) than females, one third (39.5%) had been in practice for 1-10 years. Nearly half (48.1%) were in community practice, more than half (56.8%) were practicing in Asaba. Majority (61.7%) used electronic communication for professional services; a quarter (27.2%) used email to communicate with their patients. Whatsapp was 3.5%, text messaging and Face book were 1.2% each. Significant differences were found in their online activities. Reasons for not communicating online included respondents not being computer literate (9.9%), irregular power supply in location (9.9%), lack of time (2.5%).
Conclusion: Internet use among respondents in the study area was poor, with those practicing in urban capital using the internet most. There is need to encourage greater internet use among pharmacists because of the obvious benefits to patient care.
Keywords: Internet use, pharmacists, social media
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