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The Effect Of Social Media On The Choice Of Dental Patients: A Cross-Sectional Study In The City Of Jeddah, Saudi Arabia

Authors Alalawi A, Aljuaid H, Natto ZS

Received 27 April 2019

Accepted for publication 27 August 2019

Published 3 October 2019 Volume 2019:13 Pages 1685—1692

DOI https://doi.org/10.2147/PPA.S213704

Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single anonymous peer review

Peer reviewer comments 2

Editor who approved publication: Dr Johnny Chen


Abdullah Alalawi, Hamad Aljuaid, Zuhair S Natto

Department of Dental Public Health, Faculty of Dentistry, King Abdulaziz University, Jeddah, Saudi Arabia

Correspondence: Zuhair S Natto
Department of Dental Public Health, Faculty of Dentistry, King Abdulaziz University, PO BOX 40311, Jeddah 21499, Saudi Arabia
Tel +966 125 0362 00 37
Email znatto@kau.edu.sa

Background and purpose: In the past few years, social networking sites have received great attention in the health field by health practitioners and researchers, as well as health centers. The aim of this research is to investigate the important factors of patients (male or female) when choosing a dental practice, and the effectiveness of a social media presence for a dental practice to engage with and obtain new patients, as well as the return on investment of social media marketing.
Patients and methods: 400 random sample patients in the city of Jeddah, Saudi Arabia participated. The inclusion criteria were the following: patients above the age of 16 years, patients who have previously visited the dentist, patients who use social networking sites, patients who are fluent in Arabic or English, and patients residing in Saudi Arabia. The questionnaire was divided into four main sections and included questions revolving around the person’s use of social networking sites and the factors influencing his/her decision to choose his/her dentist, especially those related to social networking sites.
Results: The data collection entailed capturing 400 patients’ responses; the majority of participants were between the age of 18 and 25 years old, and more than half of them were males (54.4%). The majority of patients had a social media account (95.3%), however, 4.7% of patients did not have a specific social media account, but they still used social media to get updated. We also found that the most popular platform to use for patients was Snapchat, at 75.1%, followed by Instagram, at 73.8%. Females tended to be more interested in having a social media platform to inform them about a dental practice and almost all factors.
Conclusion: The presence of the dentist in social networking sites and correct interaction with them is important to reach new patients and communicate with his/her former patients.

Keywords: social media, dentistry, patient prospective, practice, marketing

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