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Dr. Bhatt on considerations for patient-urologist engagements on social media

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“When we are starting to do this in urology across the world, we need to make sure that we have patient representatives involved and they are there from the beginning to make sure that whatever we do in terms of an intervention is successful,” says Nikita R. Bhatt, MBBS, MCh, MMed, FRCS.

In this video, Nikita R. Bhatt, MBBS, MCh, MMed, FRCS, discusses the implications of social media interventions in urology, which was highlighted in the publication, “Social media interventions for patients and public: Opportunities and challenges for the urology community.” Bhatt is a urology resident at Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital in the United Kingdom.

Video Transcript:

So, for urologists, obviously, this is something very new. I assume there might be pros and cons to this. The pros are that you're getting to interact with your patient cohort directly and you can observe how they're progressing over time. And of course, the cons are that people might be reserved about how this engagement would go, how their interaction with patients can affect their practice, and not everyone is very confident on social media. That's something else that we have to consider when we're involving health care professionals. It's important to have social media experts involved who can smoothen out this process.

I suppose for patients, it's quite positive, because except for your consultation, you don't get to engage with your health care professional on a long-term basis unless you have seen them in clinic, for example, or you're seeing them in theater. Whereas this is something that they can interact with, in their own time, over time, and with a group of people who are suffering with the same problem. So, [patients] might not think of a lot of questions themselves, but someone else might ask something that they actually struggle with, and this might help them interact or engage better with their health care professional.

The results initially are positive, but there are some mixed results as well. I think the main problem is the compliance and engagement. When we are starting to do this in urology across the world, we need to make sure that we have patient representatives involved and they are there from the beginning to make sure that whatever we do in terms of an intervention is successful. It should be by the patients for the patients, and we should just be mediating that in some way or forms to empower patients to take their health in their own hands and implement behavioral change that, in turn, hopefully has a positive impact on their disease. So, patient involvement is key in this, and I can't stress that enough.

This transcription has been edited for clarity.

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