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Top tips for social media use in sports and exercise medicine: doing the right thing in the digital age
  1. Osman Hassan Ahmed1,2,
  2. Richard Weiler2,3,
  3. Anthony G Schneiders4,
  4. Paul McCrory5,
  5. S John Sullivan6
  1. 1 Department of Physiotherapy, Poole Hospital NHS Foundation Trust, Poole, UK
  2. 2 The FA Centre for Disability Football Research, St Georges Park, Burton-Upon-Trent, Staffordshire, UK
  3. 3 University College London Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, London, UK
  4. 4 School of Human, Health and Social Sciences, Central Queensland University, Branyan, Queensland, Australia
  5. 5 The Florey Institute of Neuroscience and Mental Health, Melbourne Brain Centre, University of Melbourne, Heidelberg, Victoria, Australia
  6. 6 Centre for Health, Activity, and Rehabilitation Research, School of Physiotherapy, University of Otago, Dunedin, New Zealand
  1. Correspondence to Dr Osman Hassan Ahmed, Department of Physiotherapy, Poole Hospital NHS Foundation Trust, Longfleet Road, Poole, Dorset BH15 2JB, UK; osman.hassan.ahmed{at}

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Sports and exercise (SEM) clinicians need thick skin and a nimble brain to juggle the plethora of competing professional responsibilities; from athlete clinical care, to work/life pressures, all while developing professional knowledge and skills. In recent years there has also been an assertion that SEM clinicians need to develop/maintain a social media presence, and many working in amateur and elite sport now have Facebook, Twitter and Instagram profiles. Although professional bodies have provided social media guidance (see web appendix for additional reading) there is no explicit SEM specific social media guidance.

In amateur sport, where there is not the day-to-day contact with athletes that a professional sporting environment allows, social media represents a channel of communication between the sports clinician and the athlete.1 ,2 In this hyperconnected age it is appropriate to interact with the athletes under our care using social media, but this needs to be carried out in a way that is professional, ethical and in keeping with the social media guidance from the respective professional organsations (see web appendix). Private discussions using social networks can help resolve communication/geographical challenges and may include multiple members of the multidisciplinary team at once, which can be beneficial while simultaneously remaining confidential (eg, WhatsApp messages and Twitter direct …

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