Background: Digital health, including telemedicine, is increasingly recommended for the management of chronic neurological disorders, and it has changed the roles of patients and clinicians. Methods: In this cross-sectional study we aimed to investigate the digital work engagement of Italian neurologists through a survey collected between September 2020 and January 2021. Questionnaires were anonymous and collected demographic characteristics, attitudes towards digital devices and social media, and details about the clinician–patient relationship. We used logistic-regression models to identify characteristics associated with the propensity to communicate with patients using social media. Results: Among the 553 neurologists who participated to the study, smartphones and computers were widely preferred compared with tablets; wearable devices were not common, although some neurologists desired them. A total of 48% of participants reported communicating with patients using social media but only a few were in favor of social friendship with patients; WhatsApp was the social media most popular for professional (86%) and personal (98%) purposes. Propensity to communicate with social media was significantly higher among those who were older (p < 0.001) and lived in regions outside northern Italy (center: p = 0.006; south and the islands: p < 0.001). For 58% of responders, social media improved their relationship with patients, but 72% usually warned patients about unreliable websites. Conclusions: The preferred social media were those which were rapid and which safeguard privacy more effectively; neurologists made many efforts to disprove fake news circulating online, providing help to patients in various ways. This analysis can help direct future interventions for the management of chronic neurological disorders.

Digital work engagement among Italian neurologists

Ponzano M.;Sormani M. P.;Carmisciano L.;
2021

Abstract

Background: Digital health, including telemedicine, is increasingly recommended for the management of chronic neurological disorders, and it has changed the roles of patients and clinicians. Methods: In this cross-sectional study we aimed to investigate the digital work engagement of Italian neurologists through a survey collected between September 2020 and January 2021. Questionnaires were anonymous and collected demographic characteristics, attitudes towards digital devices and social media, and details about the clinician–patient relationship. We used logistic-regression models to identify characteristics associated with the propensity to communicate with patients using social media. Results: Among the 553 neurologists who participated to the study, smartphones and computers were widely preferred compared with tablets; wearable devices were not common, although some neurologists desired them. A total of 48% of participants reported communicating with patients using social media but only a few were in favor of social friendship with patients; WhatsApp was the social media most popular for professional (86%) and personal (98%) purposes. Propensity to communicate with social media was significantly higher among those who were older (p < 0.001) and lived in regions outside northern Italy (center: p = 0.006; south and the islands: p < 0.001). For 58% of responders, social media improved their relationship with patients, but 72% usually warned patients about unreliable websites. Conclusions: The preferred social media were those which were rapid and which safeguard privacy more effectively; neurologists made many efforts to disprove fake news circulating online, providing help to patients in various ways. This analysis can help direct future interventions for the management of chronic neurological disorders.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11567/1055850
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