University of Oulu

Nieminen, P., Uma, E., Mani, S. A., John, J., Laitala, M.-L., & Lappalainen, O.-P. (2022). E-Professionalism among Dental Students from Malaysia and Finland. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, 19(6), 3234.

E-professionalism among dental students from Malaysia and Finland

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Author: Nieminen, Pentti1; Uma, Eswara2; Mani, Shani Ann3;
Organizations: 1Medical Informatics and Data Analysis Research Group, University of Oulu, 90014 Oulu, Finland
2Faculty of Dentistry, Manipal University College Malaysia, Melaka 75150, Malaysia
3Department of Paediatric Dentistry and Orthodontics, Faculty of Dentistry, Universiti Malaya, Kuala Lumpur 50603, Malaysia
4Department of Restorative Dentistry, Faculty of Dentistry, Universiti Malaya, Kuala Lumpur 50603, Malaysia
5Research Unit of Oral Health Sciences, Faculty of Medicine, University of Oulu, 90014 Oulu, Finland
6Medical Research Center, Oulu University Hospital, 90014 Oulu, Finland
7Department of Oral and Maxillofacial Diseases, Faculty of Medicine, University of Helsinki, 00014 Helsinki, Finland
8Helsinki University Hospital, 00014 Helsinki, Finland
Format: article
Version: published version
Access: open
Online Access: PDF Full Text (PDF, 1 MB)
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Language: English
Published: Multidisciplinary Digital Publishing Institute, 2022
Publish Date: 2022-08-11


The increased use of social media in dentistry is associated with both advantages and disadvantages. A new form of professionalism, “e-professionalism,” has emerged. It includes an online persona and online information in any format that displays cues to professional identity, attitudes, and behaviors. The objective was to explore the perceptions of Malaysian and Finnish dental students on e-professionalism. A survey of 613 Malaysian and Finnish students was performed. The main variables assessed were posting of objectionable or inappropriate content among students, attitudes towards unprofessional online content, perceived online presence, contacts with patients and faculty members on social media, and concerns about social media use. The prevalence of posting clearly unprofessional content was not high among dental students. Revealing information of patients was most common content of clear unprofessionalism. Students from Malaysia contacted patients and faculty members more actively in social media than students in Finland (73.6% of students in Malaysia and 11.8% in Finland had invited faculty members to be “friends”). Malaysian students were more concerned and more likely to react to inappropriate content on social media. Attitude of dental students towards social media use in dentistry were very positive in both countries. Students agreed that guiding patients online is a new responsibility for dentists in the digital age (86.4% of students in Malaysia and 73.4% in Finland). The findings indicate the existence of both benefits and dangers of social media on e-professionalism among students. There is a need to include robust digital professionalism awareness training for students.

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Series: International journal of environmental research and public health
ISSN: 1661-7827
ISSN-E: 1660-4601
ISSN-L: 1661-7827
Volume: 19
Issue: 6
Article number: 3234
DOI: 10.3390/ijerph19063234
Type of Publication: A1 Journal article – refereed
Field of Science: 313 Dentistry
113 Computer and information sciences
Copyright information: © 2022 by the authors. Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland. This article is an open access article distributed under the terms and conditions of the Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY) license (