Compliance to therapeutic regimen may seem to be a challenging task for health care providers and guardians to reinforce or instill among teenagers who are admitted in an acute health care facility. There are numerous methods to reinforce compliance to therapeutic regimen among these teenage patients. One of these is health education. It is a method that can be done in numerous pedagogical approaches. However, studies have reported that more teenagers are supplementing or replacing these approaches with resources they uncover over the Internet (Katz, 2008; Liu, 2010). An available technology in the internet is social networking. With its prominence among teenagers and its potential for an alternative learning resource (Yu et al., 2010), online social networking is a potential tool in the promotion of compliance to therapeutic regimen among teenage patients.
This study aims to investigate the effects on the utilization of online based resources such as online social networking sites as alternative medium of instruction (i.e., Facebook) on teenager’s participation in therapeutic regimen (i.e., medication compliance, self care, nutrition and exercise) during their stay in an acute pediatric ward unit. Online learning modules on therapeutic regimen with emphasis on self-care, medication compliance, dietary regimen and exercise are incorporated in a Facebook group page to be made accessible to the experimental group. The control group will be intervened with the conventional man-to-man health education. The intervention will commence from the time of admission to discharge of the patient- this duration, however, is subject to the approval of the physician/s directly involved in the respondent’s care. The study will utilize a longitudinal quasi-experimental, pretest-posttest design. Triangulation will also be carried out to obtain each teenage patient’s responses on the intervention during the course of the study. Randomized controlled trials will be carried out to teenagers with ages from 13-18 years admitted in a pediatric ward unit in acute healthcare facility. One hundred teenagers (n=100) from each of five district hospitals in five different states will be selected as samples through stratified random sampling procedure. Admission data will be used as reference on sample selection. Factors such as patient’s age, sex, condition, length of stay (LOS) and compliance to therapeutic regimen prescribed by the attending physician will be analyzed to time and logistic regression analyses.
This research will provide significant data to health care providers on the effects of utilizing online social networking as an alternative medium of instruction aimed to reinforce compliance to therapeutic regimen among teenage patients.
Taking into account the information to be accessed in the study such as admission records on sample selection, an informed consent should be made available to the respondents. This informed consent should clearly stipulate the nature of the study (i.e. research purpose, design and methods), the information to be obtained in the study, the risks involved by participating in the study and the contact information of the members of the research team. Further, due to the interference of the study on the therapeutic regimen being carried to teenage patients, the said informed consent should also be served among the members of the health care team directly involved on the care of the patient. Further, the researcher will ensure that the learning contents incorporated in the Facebook group page are similar to the existing therapeutic regimen/protocol being applied by the health care providers in a health care unit the patient is in.
Securing informed consent from the respondents prior to their actual participation in the study is in adherence to the Research Summary and Ethical Considerations Guideline which emphasizes the ethical considerations to be taken account into most especially when one deals with samples (respondents) belonging to the vulnerable or marginalized sector of the society (i.e., children, minor, women, prisoners). Further, through the informed consent, the patient’s autonomy and right to self-determination in their participation in the study is also made in compliance and in strict observance to.
In addition to the informed consent, other factors emphasizing ethical considerations will also be emphasized during the course of the study. These factors include, value, scientific validity of the study, fair subject selection, favorable risk-benefit ratio, independent review, respect for enrolled subjects or respondents. According to Emmanuel et al., (2010), accomplishing and emphasizing the aforesaid factors in a research undertaking, is essential to make clinical research ethical. These factors are universal, nonetheless, appropriate modifications may be carried out by the researcher so as to complement these factors to the predominant culture or conditions (i.e., economic, technological, health) that the respondents are characterized with.
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Liu, Y. (2010). Social Media Tools as a Learning Resource. Journal of Educational Technology
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Yu, A. Y., Tian, S. W., Vogel, D., & Chi-Wai Kwok, R. (2010). Can learning be virtually
boosted? An investigation of online social networking impacts.Computers & Education, 55(4), 1494-1503.