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Social networking sites: a clinical dilemma?
  1. Daniel Lawrence Maughan1,
  2. Alexis Economou2
  1. 1Social Psychiatry Group, Department of Psychiatry, Oxford University, The Centre for Sustainable Healthcare, Oxford, UK
  2. 2Oxford Health NHS Foundation Trust, Warneford Hospital, Oxford, UK
  1. Correspondence to Dr Daniel Lawrence Maughan, Social Psychiatry Group, Department of Psychiatry, Oxford University, The Centre for Sustainable Healthcare, Cranbrook House, 287-291 Banbury Road, Oxford OX2 7JA, UK; daniel.maughan{at}psych.ox.ac.uk

Abstract

Social networking sites (SNS) are having an increasing influence on patients’ lives and doctors are far from certain about how to deal with this new challenge. In our literature search, we could find no research on how doctors could engage positively with SNS to improve patient outcomes or create more patient-led care. We need to acknowledge the fact that a review of a patient's SNS page has the potential to enhance assessment and management, particularly where a corroborant history is hard to attain. As doctors, we need to think clearly about how to adapt our practice in light of this new form of communication; in particular, whether there is a case for engaging with SNS to improve patient care.

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