MOBILE SOCIAL WORK

ideas, innovations and apps for social work in the age of smartphones and social media 

Technology That Involves Teenagers in Their Health – NYTimes.com

By JAN HOFFMAN, http://well.blogs.nytimes.com

The teenager’s cellphone buzzes. Her doctor, Natasha Burgert, is texting her: “Better morning with this medication?”

Another teenager opens his phone. “Everything is great,” reads Dr. Burgert’s discreet text. “Go ahead with the plan we discussed. Please reply so I know you received.”

And on the morning of college entrance exams, a teenager who suffers from a roiling stomach reads Dr. Burgert’s texted greeting: “Prepared. Focused. Calm. Your body is healthy and well. Good luck today.”

Dr. Burgert, a pediatrician in Kansas City, Mo., is making house calls. She is among a small but growing number of practitioners using social media to engage adolescents. Her patients read her blog and follow her on Twitter and Facebook. She even follows a few of the teenagers’ blogs, commenting occasionally.

During checkups, Dr. Burgert no longer gives teenagers brochures with advice on healthy living — which usually led to glazed expressions and teeming wastebaskets. Instead, a whiteboard hangs in her exam room, with hyperlinks and QR codes to sites with teenager-friendly material on sexuality, alcohol and drugs. The teenagers can photograph the board with their phones, storing the information to peruse in private.

Those topics dispensed with, Dr. Burgert has more time to listen to her patients. “This is a time for you,” she will say. “What do you want to talk about?” She often picks up subtle problems like stomachaches due to test anxiety.

She sustains those relationships through social media and, rather than leave teenagers unguided about dicey health matters, she continues sending them links to appropriate Web sites.

“I do as much as I can to get it on their phones, because that is what they live and die for,” Dr. Burgert said. …

Read the whole article at  Technology That Involves Teenagers in Their Health – NYTimes.com.

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2 comments on “Technology That Involves Teenagers in Their Health – NYTimes.com

  1. healthywilkes
    October 12, 2012

    Reblogged this on The Health Foundation, Inc. and commented:
    As someone more likely to respond to a text than a phone call, this seems like a great way to get people my age to engage with their own health care. It may also have applications for survivors of domestic violence, in that a text is more easily hidden than a phone call.

    • Lutz Siemer
      October 12, 2012

      Thank you reblogging and adding your ideas.

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This entry was posted on October 12, 2012 by in Children, Ethics & Policy, Health, Texting, Youth and tagged , , , .
Lutz Siemer

Lutz Siemer

Education, Research & Development in Social Work & IT After working as an alternative practitioner and psychotherapist in private practice for nearly ten years I stepped over to higher education in 2005. At Saxion University of Applied Sciences I lecture and do research and development in the area of Social Work, Psychology and IT. Currently I'm focussing on merging mobile technology and social work.

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