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Publication - Dr Patricia Neville

    Social media and professionalism

    a retrospective content analysis of Fitness to Practice cases heard by the GDC concerning social media complaints

    Citation

    Neville, P, 2017, ‘Social media and professionalism: a retrospective content analysis of Fitness to Practice cases heard by the GDC concerning social media complaints’. British Dental Journal, vol 223., pp. 353-357

    Abstract

    Introduction
    Since 2013, all General Dental Council (GDC) registrants’ online activities have been regulated by the GDC’s social media guidelines. Failure to comply with these guidelines results in a Fitness to Practise (FtP) complaint being investigated.

    Aims
    This study explores the prevalence of social media related FtP cases investigated by the GDC from 1 September 2013 to 21 June 2016.

    Method
    Documentary analysis of social media related FtP cases published on the GDC’s website was undertaken. All cases that met the study’s inclusion criteria were analysed using a quantitative content analysis framework.

    Findings
    It was found that 2.4% of FtP cases published on the GDC website during that period were related to breaches of the social media guidelines. All of the cases investigated were proven and upheld. Most of those named in the complaints were dental nurses and the most common type of complaint was inappropriate Facebook comments.

    Conclusions
    The low incidence rate should be interpreted with caution, being illustrative of the types of issues that might arise rather than the volume. The GDC will need to remain vigilant in this area and ensure that social media awareness training is an active part of CPD for all the dental team.

    Full details in the University publications repository