WhatsApp to better connect, train & empower health professionals

29 October, 2018

Dear HIFA colleagues

Here are findings from two new studies on the use of WhatsApp by health workers and associated effects:

The first survey study, for which data were also gathered via the HIFA network (many thanks!), analyses the relevant role that instant messaging platforms have taken on as knowledge tools in the work of many global health professionals. The study summarises various forms, potential and constraints of mobile instant messaging. You can download the full publication here: http://ow.ly/Etnw30mnYhE

Another, experimental study shows how the use of moderated WhatsApp groups helped Nigerian health professionals to acquire professional and clinical knowledge and reduce feelings of professional isolation. Interestingly, the general active use of WhatsApp alone (outside of any intervention) was associated with professional social capital, professional identity, (lower) professional isolation, and even job satisfaction. Study download: 50 days for free http://ow.ly/VsFw30m1JcL; pre-print: http://ow.ly/kgmv30m1KFH

The research is part of a project in which we broadly examine the use of WhatsApp by health professionals. This also includes the development of WhatsApp and social media guidelines and associated mobile tutorials. Findings / reports / WhatsApp curricula / moderation scripts etc. can be downloaded from our website http://socialmedia4health.net/ or requested via email.

Let us know if you have any questions, we are happy to discuss / share our learnings.

Christoph Pimmer (International Principal Investigator)

Margaret Oertig (Communication delegate)


University of Applied Sciences and Arts

Northwestern Switzerland FHNW

School of Business

Institute for Information Systems

Dr. Christoph Pimmer

Senior Researcher and Lecturer

Peter Merian-Strasse 86

4002 Basel - Switzerland


T +41 61 279 18 49

W www.fhnw.ch/wirtschaft/learning.lab

E christoph.pimmer@fhnw.ch

HIFA profile: Dr Christoph Pimmer is senior researcher & lecturer at the University of Applied Sciences and Arts Northwestern Switzerland FHNW. His work focuses on the use of digital media for education and collaboration. Christoph has developed a particular interest in researching learners and professionals in marginalized contexts, and in the field of public health. www.christoph.pimmer.info Christoph.Pimmer AT Fhnw.ch