Social media aids communication among users worldwide. However, a notable gap exist among social media users, healthcare professionals utilizing social media in the work place. While the concept of harnessing social media as a professional tool is not novel, healthcare professionals have yet to embrace the practice as standard workflow. This study identifies factors influencing clinicians' behavioral intent to adopt social media for patient engagement and communication. A new framework, the Healthcare Social Media Adoption Framework (HSMA), guided this mixed-method approach to assess 7 factors identified by theory and literature as adoption influencers. A custom, web-based survey collected data from 60 full-time, pediatric clinicians (47 quantitative) at the case institution (a pediatric hospital). Additionally, individual interviews of 6 participants provided their prospective on using social media for patient communications and engagement. Results: Privacy concerns were the only statically significant factor; with an inverse relationship to positive adoption intent, indicating higher privacy concerns influence lower behavioral intent to adopt social media for patient engagement and communication. The qualitative analysis revealed privacy concerns encompass two themes, personal privacy for patient and providers (boundaries), and cybersecurity. The qualitative inputs also uncovered perceived unprofessionalism as a new factor influencing clinician adoption. The implications for these findings indicate a need for both healthcare organizations and healthcare regulators to establish cyber-security defenses for security and use protocols for privacy to aid the diffusion and adoption acceptance of social media use by pediatric healthcare professionals. This research has contributed in four areas: 1) fill a knowledge gap by identifying new factors that influence the behavioral intent of pediatric clinicians to adopt social media; 2) confirm/reject behavioral intent influences found in the literature; 3) formulated a new HSMA framework that measures functional, cognitive, and social aspects of social media adoption; and 4) prioritizes policies and global standard focus.


If this is your thesis or dissertation, and want to learn how to access it or for more information about readership statistics, contact us at STARS@ucf.edu

Graduation Date





Hou, Su-I


Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)


College of Health and Public Affairs

Degree Program

Public Affairs; Health Services Management and Research









Release Date

May 2019

Length of Campus-only Access

1 year

Access Status

Doctoral Dissertation (Open Access)

Included in

Health Policy Commons