Ascertaining the place of social media and technology for bariatric patient support: what do allied health practitioners think?
- Publisher: Springer
Abstract \ud \ud Background\ud \ud There is an increasing presence of patient-led social media, mobile apps and patient support technology, but little is known about the role of these in the support of bariatric surgery patients in the UK. This study aimed to seek the views of allied health professionals (AHPs) working in bariatric surgical teams to understand their current perceptions of the role of social media, mobile apps and patient-support technology within bariatric surgery in the UK.\ud Methods\ud \ud A confidential, printed survey was distributed to the AHPs at the British Obesity and Metabolic Surgery Society (BOMSS) 7th Annual Scientific Conference in January 2016. An email to AHPs who did not attend the conference was sent requesting voluntary participation in the same survey on-line through Survey Monkey® within two weeks of the conference.\ud \ud \ud Results\ud \ud 95 responses in total were received, which was a 71% response rate (n= 134). Responses were from Nurses (34%, n= 46), Dietitians (32%, n=32), Psychologists (16%, n=12) and 1 Nutritionist, 1 Physiotherapist, 1 Patient Advocate, 1 surgeon and 9 respondents did not fill in their title.\ud Conclusion\ud \ud The use of social media and mobile apps by patients is increasing, with AHPs concerned about misinformation; advice may differ from what is given in clinic. Technologies, e.g. telehealth and videoconferencing are not widely used in bariatric surgery in the UK. AHPs are unclear about the role of technologies for bariatric surgical patient support. Further discussions are needed to understand the potential of technology with AHPS supporting/facilitating patients as this becomes more commonplace.
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