Promoting patient empowerment via the Internet: an analysis of discussion forums for patients with chronic conditions

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Title: Promoting patient empowerment via the Internet: an analysis of discussion forums for patients with chronic conditions
Authors: Beléndez, Marina | Suriá Martínez, Raquel
Research Group/s: Psicología Social y Salud
Center, Department or Service: Universidad de Alicante. Departamento de Comunicación y Psicología Social
Keywords: Empowerment | Discussion forums | Internet forums | Chronic illness | Content analysis | Social support
Knowledge Area: Psicología Social
Date Created: Nov-2008
Issue Date: Nov-2008
Abstract: Background and aims: Internet support groups and online discussion boards have emerged as a resource that may be helpful to patients with chronic illnesses as an aid to promote personal empowerment. The aim of this study was to examine the empowering processes, such as the exchange of information or sharing feelings about the illness, that take place within different online discussion boards for patients through content analysis of the messages exchanged. Methods: A total of 794 postings of participants in four Spanish-speaking Internet bulletin boards: diabetes (n=254), fibromialgya (n=218), asthma (n=132) and sclerosis (n=190) were analyzed. Each posting was analyzed for the presence or absence of 16 coding categories subsumed under four broad categories (social support, illness and treatment issues, social processes and expression of emotions). Results: Topics discussed in messages were: treatment issues (75.9%), giving informational support (55.4%), symptoms (51%) and giving instrumental support (31.7%). Postings regarding giving informational and instrumental support were more frequent at diabetes discussion board (p < .001). In addition, messages seeking instrumental support were more frequent at asthma group (p < .001). Conclusions: Most of the previous studies have focused on analysing the content of the messages exchanged in online discussion boards for one specific illness. This preliminary exploratory work shows some interesting differences in the communication of empowerment processes by disease.
Description: Presentación realizada en International Congress Therapeutic Patient Education, TPE 2008, Budapest, November 5-8, 2008.
Language: eng
Type: info:eu-repo/semantics/lecture
Peer Review: si
Appears in Collections:INV - PSS - Comunicaciones a Congresos, Conferencias, etc.
Institucional - IUIEG - Publicaciones

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