Creating a Social Media Assessment Tool for Family Nursing

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The use of social media (SM) is contributing to an unprecedented state of global connectivity and occupying an increasingly prominent position in the lives of individuals and families. The more integrated these media become into society the more likely they are to play a role in overall health and family functioning, be it positively or negatively. Family systems theory provides an ideal lens through which to examine the effects of SM in today’s family life. This article introduces a new SM assessment tool aligned with the principles of this foundational theory. Family nurses can use the proposed Social Media Assessment Package (SMAP) to gain an initial picture of usage patterns within a family as well as identify and support positive future SM choices. Practitioners may also use the SMAP in a personal evaluation of their practice as a means to maximize SM use in ongoing professional development.

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