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Use of Social Media in the Blood Donation Process in Saudi Arabia

Authors Alanzi T, Alsaeed B

Received 31 May 2019

Accepted for publication 13 November 2019

Published 12 December 2019 Volume 2019:10 Pages 417—423


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewer comments 2

Editor who approved publication: Dr Martin H Bluth

Turki Alanzi,1 Batool Alsaeed2

1Health Information Management and Technology Department, College of Public Health, Imam Abdulrahman Bin Faisal University, Dammam, Saudi Arabia; 2Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine, King Fahad Specialist Hospital in Dammam, Dammam, Saudi Arabia

Correspondence: Turki Alanzi
Department of Health Information Management and Technology, College of Public Health, Imam Abdulrahman Bin Faisal University, King Faisal Road, Dammam 31441, Saudi Arabia
Tel/Fax +966 133332703

Purpose: The main objective of this research was to investigate the use of social media in the blood donation process in Saudi Arabia. In addition, other objectives were to evaluate inhibitors, motivations and the possibility of using social networks to improve the practice of blood donation in this country.
Participants and methods: A cross-sectional study was carried out to investigate the use of social media in the blood donation process in Saudi Arabia.This study was conducted using an online survey questionnaire distributed through Whatsapp groups to 297 participants between November and December, 2018. Question Pro was employed during the data collection process. Basic descriptive statistics was used to analyze the data.
Results: Almost half of the participants (45%) had previously donated blood and most of them (82%) received requests for blood donation through social media platforms in Saudi Arabia. The most used social media platforms for this purpose were WhatsApp (61%) followed by Twitter (13%), Snapchat (10%), Instagram (6%), Facebook (5%), YouTube (1%), Telegram (1%), and others (2%). The sources of posts that requested blood donation were mainly from friends (43%) and family members (28%). Furthermore, 25% of the respondents considered that human solidarity was the principal motivation to donate blood, and 36% of them expressed that the main inhibiting factor was their health condition. The results insinuated that there is a potential to improve the blood donation practice in Saudi Arabia using social media.
Conclusion: The outcomes of this study indicated that social media had been used to search for blood donors using messages distributed through these platforms in Saudi Arabia, and WhatsApp was the preferred social media to transmit and receive information about the blood donation process. Human solidarity was the most important incentive to donate blood, while the health condition was the main inhibitor. The findings suggested that social media can help to improve the blood donation practice in this country where there is a shortage of blood donors.

Keywords: blood donation, social media, motivation, inhibitor

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