Nursing in Practice March/April 2019 (issue 107) - Page 8

8 RESEARCH UPDATE ‘ Mapping the patient experience’ and nurses’ use of social media Studies fi nd that mind maps can help health professionals engage with patients, and highlight a need for guidance in the professional use of social media Kathryn Waldegrave is a lecturer in community nursing at the University of Leeds nursinginpractice.com March/April 2019 The use of mind maps to aid self- management of long-term conditions Supporting patients to manage long-term conditions can be a challenge, especially if the condition is not well controlled. Taking type 2 diabetes as an example, ensuring regular monitoring of blood glucose levels alongside medication adherence, appropriate diet and exercise are challenges faced by many patients, especially with work, home and social factors. Limited health literacy can impact on a patient’s understanding of their illness and treatment – comorbidities, habits and routines can infl uence outcomes. Drawing is one method used to explore and validate how patients think and feel about their illness. A recent study aimed to explore patients’ experiences of type 2 diabetes using ‘health mind mapping’ (HMM), a process based on the concept of ‘mind mapping’, which provides a visual representation of ideas and how they relate to each other. The study featured 20 adult patients aged 41 to 74 years (65% female) with mixed educational levels, who answered facilitator questions in a semi-structured interview, then wrote and drew key words to Social media, online misbehaviour and professional responsibility The past 10 years have seen an explosion in the use of social media. One network, Twitter, has about 300 million active users worldwide and is used by many health professionals to share good practice and information, and to support professional groups. But while its potential benefi ts are many, Twitter can be misused. Reputations can be harmed, patient safety compromised and institutions discredited by online misbehaviour, or ‘cyber incivility’. In the context of the health service, this takes many forms, including posting comments describing patients, peers, other health professionals and employers in a negative light, posting confi dential information, using discriminatory language, or using questionable ethical judgments to recommend products or services. A study aimed to evaluate cyber incivility in health professionals. It looked at 163 individual Twitter accounts (143 registered nurses, 20 student nurses) across 14 countries including the US, UK and Canada over a six-week period. Researchers found that 37% of nurses illustrate their thoughts. The facilitator asked each to select one element on the map to focus their attention on self-management techniques. The majority of participants reported positive outcomes from HMM, describing it as a useful tool to express fears and feelings about the disease and also to recognise existing knowledge and skills. A commentary notes how HMM can be an enlightening way to improve health professionals’ understanding of the patient’s perspective, and to highlight areas where support may be needed. HMM also offers practitioners a means of engaging with patients who have diffi culties with language or terminology, or fi nd it diffi cult to express thoughts and feelings, leading to greater patient empowerment and self-management. Reference Pringle J. Health mind mapping has the potential to facilitate patient engagement in self-management of long-term conditions. Evid Based Nurs 2019;22:23 Commentary de la Vega P, Coe C, Paasche-Orlow M et al. ‘It’s like a mirror image of my illness’: exploring patient perceptions about illness using health mind mapping – a qualitative study. J Gen Inter Med 2018;33:1692-9 (60 accounts) were judged to have posted inappropriately; of the 8,934 tweets analysed, 413 (4.6%) were categorised as ‘uncivil’. The most frequent types of incivility were the use of profanities, sexualised content, adversely political material or criticisms of other health professionals’ abilities. Students also tweeted deleteriously about academic life; registered nurses tweeted about professional aspects, including the use of GIFs and memes to portray patient behaviours in a derogatory way. A commentary highlights the need to ensure professional standards cross the boundaries into cyberspace. Social media can be a force for good, supporting professional development, but guidance should be made available on responsible social media use. Reference Barrett D. Nurses need to be aware of their professional responsibilities when engaging with social media. Evid Based Nurs 2019;22:1 Commentary De Gagne J, Hall K, Conklin J et al. Uncovering cyber incivility among nurses and nursing students on Twitter: a data mining study. Int J Nurs Stud 2019;89:24-31