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European Journal of Plastic Surgery

, Volume 35, Issue 10, pp 747–755 | Cite as

The use of the Internet and social software by plastic surgeons

  • Roger J. G. StevensEmail author
  • Neil M. Hamilton
  • Joseph M. O’Donoghue
  • Michaela P. Davies
Original Paper

Abstract

Social software allows users to communicate and share data through online social interaction using Web 2.0 technology. Three hundred and fifty-six members of the British Association of Plastic, Reconstructive and Aesthetic Surgeons (BAPRAS) within the UK and Ireland were invited by e-mail to complete an online survey (e-survey) anonymously on their knowledge and use of Web 2.0 technology and whether they would like this to be used in BAPRAS’s e-Learning for Plastic, Reconstructive and Aesthetic Surgery (e-LPRAS). Fifty-eight members completed the e-survey (response rate of 58 out of 356 or 16.3%). The respondents comprised 52 males (89.7%) and 6 females (10.3%) with a mean age (range) of 44.1 years (24–61). Forty one (70.7%) were consultants and 17 (29.3%) were non-consultants with a mean time (range) at this level of 10.1 years (1–30) and 3.4 years (1–6), respectively. The mean (range) ages of consultants and non-consultants were 48.7 years (35–61) and 32.8 years (24–38), respectively. Fifty-eight (100%) plastic surgeons used the Internet and e-mail, 48 (82.8%) owned a handheld device and 48 (82.8%) owned a digital media player. Sixteen plastic surgeons (27.6%) used instant messaging, 29 (50.0%) used Internet telephone, 12 (20.7%) used videoconferencing, 23 (39.7%) used media sharing, 2 (3.4%) used social bookmarking, 21 (36.2%) used social networking, 24 (41.4%) used forums, 29 (50.0%) used podcasts, 1 (1.7%) contributed to a wiki, 6 (10.3%) wrote a blog and 18 (31.0%) read a blog. Non-consultants were more likely to use social networking and forums than consultants. Forty-one (70.7%) plastic surgeons used e-learning, and 31 (53.4%) would like Web 2.0 technology to be used in e-LPRAS, whilst 5 (8.6%) would not and 22 (37.9%) do not know what Web 2.0 technology is. Most respondents either used Web 2.0 technology or were aware of it. Over half of respondents would like Web 2.0 technology to be used in e-LPRAS. We recommend that BAPRAS adopts Web 2.0 technology in their development of e-LPRAS.

Keywords

Plastic surgery Education Training e-Learning Web 2.0 

Notes

Acknowledgements

The authors thank the plastic surgeons who completed this survey, BAPRAS for approving this survey and e-mailing the members and Dr. Neil Scott who is Statistician in the Section of Population Health within the University of Aberdeen for his statistical advice. This research has contributed to a thesis for the degree of the Doctorate of Medicine of the University of Aberdeen.

Conflict of interest

R.J.G.S. is a Junior Member of the British Association of Plastic, Reconstructive and Aesthetic Surgeons (BAPRAS). J.M.O. is the former Chairman of the Education and Research Committee of BAPRAS.

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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • Roger J. G. Stevens
    • 1
    • 2
    Email author
  • Neil M. Hamilton
    • 2
  • Joseph M. O’Donoghue
    • 3
  • Michaela P. Davies
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Plastic and Reconstructive SurgeryAberdeen Royal InfirmaryAberdeenUK
  2. 2.Medi-CAL Unit, College of Life Sciences and MedicineUniversity of AberdeenAberdeenUK
  3. 3.Department of Plastic and Reconstructive SurgeryRoyal Victoria InfirmaryNewcastle upon TyneUK

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