World Journal of Dentistry

Register      Login

VOLUME 15 , ISSUE 5 ( May, 2024 ) > List of Articles

ORIGINAL RESEARCH

Influence of Search Engines and Social Media on Dental Patients’ Health Information Seeking: A Cross-sectional Study

Krishna S Kumar, Vineetha Karuveettil, Priya K Nair, Aravind M Shanmugham, Renju Jose, Keerthana Santhosh, Rhea S Varghese, Indu P Sreenivasan

Keywords : Dental health behavior, Health information seeking, Oral health, Oral health information, Search engine, Social media

Citation Information : Kumar KS, Karuveettil V, Nair PK, Shanmugham AM, Jose R, Santhosh K, Varghese RS, Sreenivasan IP. Influence of Search Engines and Social Media on Dental Patients’ Health Information Seeking: A Cross-sectional Study. World J Dent 2024; 15 (5):422-428.

DOI: 10.5005/jp-journals-10015-2436

License: CC BY-NC 4.0

Published Online: 28-06-2024

Copyright Statement:  Copyright © 2024; The Author(s).


Abstract

Aims and background: The aim of this study is to explore the impact of search engines and social media (SM) use on health information seeking among dental patients, and to assess the impact of health information from search engines and SM on dental health behavior. Materials and methods: A cross-sectional study was carried out by distributing self-administered prevalidated questionnaires to 354 patients reporting to a tertiary dental care hospital in Kochi, Kerala. Study participants in the age-group of 18–60 were included in the study after obtaining informed consent. There were 27 questions included in the questionnaire. Among them, 10 questions assessed the general trend of SM/search engine usage among dental patients seeking oral health information (OHI), while 17 questions assessed the attitude and application towards the information obtained about oral health through SM and search engines. Data was recorded and statistically analyzed using IBM Statistical Package for the Social Sciences Statistics (SPSS) (version 27). Results: The survey involved 354 participants, primarily aged 18–35 (68.6%), with a majority being female graduates (56.5%). Smartphones (91.24%) were their main internet access tool, and SM, especially Facebook, WhatsApp, and Instagram, played a central role in OHI dissemination. Participants valued accessibility (47.18%) but expressed concerns about online information reliability (44.07%). Most participants found online OHI positively impacting their behavior (65%) and believed that dentists should engage in professional interactions via SM (73.2%). Most of them reported having good oral health (48.9%) and regular dental visits (65.8%). Conclusion: The results indicate a growing reliance on digital platforms, particularly SM, for accessing OHI. While participants appreciate the convenience and cost-effectiveness of online information, concerns regarding its reliability persist. Clinical significance: The study underscores the significant role SM plays in shaping health-seeking behaviors and the importance of healthcare professionals utilizing these platforms for professional interaction with patients. Additionally, it assesses the role of SM and search engine usage in influencing oral health decisions and behaviors, thereby contributing to the development of more effective patient education and intervention strategies in dental care settings.


PDF Share
  1. Oakley M, Spallek H. Social media in dental education: a call for research and action. J Dent Educ 2012;76(3):279–287. DOI: 10.1002/j.0022-0337.2012.76.3.tb05256.x
  2. Choudhury MD, Morris MR, White RW. Seeking and sharing health information online: comparing search engines and social media. Hum Fact Comput Syst 2014;1365–1376. DOI: 10.1145/2556288.2557214
  3. Moorhead SA, Hazlett DE, Harrison L, et al. A new dimension of health care: systematic review of the uses, benefits, and limitations of social media for health communication. J Med Internet Res 2013;15(4):e85. DOI: 10.2196/jmir.1933
  4. Al-Thuniyan AM, Alsalhi R, Elmoazen R. Role of social media in dental health promotion and behavior change in Qassim province, Saudi Arabia. Int J Med Health Res 2018;4(2):98–103. https://www.medicalsciencejournal.com/assets/archives/2018/vol4issue2/4-2-21-830.pdf
  5. Almozainy M. Assessing the use of social media as a source of information related to dentistry in Saudi Arabia. J Dent Health Oral Disord Ther 2017;8(7):663–668. DOI: 10.15406/jdhodt.2017.08.00312
  6. Ajwa N, Al Mohsen S, Kuwail A, et al. The impact of using social media networks on dental treatment marketing in Saudi Arabia: the practitioners and patient's perspectives. J Oral Health Dent 2018;2(4):401. https://www.scholarena.com/article/The-Impact-of-Using-Social-Media-Networks-on-Dental-Treatment-Marketing-in-Saudi-Arabia-The-Practitioners-and-Patients-Perspectives.pdf
  7. Ní Ríordáin R, McCreary C. Dental patients’ use of the Internet. Br Dent J 2009;207(12):583–586. DOI: 10.1038/sj.bdj.2009.1137
  8. Al Awdah AS, Ali BB, Al Twaim S, et al. The power of social media on esthetic dental treatment choices in Arabian Gulf Region. Int J Dent Oral Health 2018;5(1). DOI: 10.16966/2378-7090.280
  9. Chen S, Xing X, Li Z, et al. Scoping review on the role of social media in oral health promotion. Eur Rev Med Pharmacol Sci 2022;26(22):8256–8264. DOI: 10.26355/eurrev_202211_30357
  10. Taneja P, Mahapatra S, Marya CM, et al. Impact of social media on dental treatment choices: a web-based survey. J Indian Assoc Public Health Dent 2022;20(4):415–419. DOI: 10.4103/jiaphd.jiaphd_194_21
  11. Maharani DA, El Tantawi M, Yoseph MG, et al. The use of internet platforms for oral health information and associated factors among adolescents from Jakarta: a cross sectional study. BMC Oral Health 2021;21(1):22. DOI: 10.1186/s12903-020-01387-x
  12. Meymo S, Nyström K. Why do elderly not use social media? An investigation of the elderly's attitudes to HCI. 2017.
  13. Krasnova H, Veltri NF, Eling N, et al. Why men and women continue to use social networking sites: the role of gender differences. J Strategic Inf Syst 2017;26(4):261–284. DOI: 10.1016/j.jsis.2017.01.004
  14. Papadimitriou A, Kakali L, Pazera P, et al. Social media and orthodontic treatment from the patient's perspective: a systematic review. Eur J Orthod 2020;42(3):231–241. DOI: 10.1093/ejo/cjz029
  15. Freire Y, Sánchez MG, Suárez A, et al. Influence of the use of social media on patients changing dental practice: a web-based questionnaire study. BMC Oral Health 2023;23(1):365. DOI: 10.1186/s12903-023-03078-9
  16. Parmar N, Dong L, Eisingerich AB. Connecting with your dentist on Facebook: patients’ and dentists’ attitudes towards social media usage in dentistry. J Med Internet Res 2018;20(6):e10109. DOI: 10.2196/10109
  17. Verkamp J. Social media as a way to connect with patients. MGMA Connex 2010;10(6):46–49. PMID: 20669744.
  18. Bahabri RH, Zaidan AB. The impact of social media on dental practice promotion and professionalism amongst general dental practitioners and specialists in KSA. J Taibah Univ Med Sci 2021;16(3):456e460. DOI: 10.1016/j.jtumed.2020.12.017
  19. Social media highway code. Royal College of General Practitioners; 2013. http://www.foundation.severndeanery.nhs.uk/assets/Foundation/Info-for-incoming-and-current-trainees/C62-RCGP-Social-Media-Highway-Code.pdf website.
  20. Ogunsuji OO, Dosumu EB, Dairo MD, et al. Self-assessment of oral health and risk factors affecting oral hygiene status in adolescents attending dental clinic in university college hospital, Ibadan. Ann Ib Postgrad Med 2021;19(1):70–77. PMID: 35330894.
PDF Share
PDF Share

© Jaypee Brothers Medical Publishers (P) LTD.