Back to Browse Journals » Patient Related Outcome Measures » Volume 3

A qualitative assessment of an online support community for ovarian cancer patients

Authors Gill PS, Whisnant B

Published Date October 2012 Volume 2012:3 Pages 51—58

DOI http://dx.doi.org/10.2147/PROM.S36034

Received 17 July 2012, Accepted 10 September 2012, Published 4 October 2012

Preetinder Singh Gill, Billy Whisnant

College of Technology, Eastern Michigan University, Ypsilanti, MI, USA

Background: A diagnosis of ovarian cancer can have detrimental effects on afflicted patients and their families. Therefore, it is important to understand the role online communities play in improving the quality of life of those affected by the disease.
Purpose: The aim of this research study is to illustrate the role that online communities play in helping patients and their families to deal with ovarian cancer.
Methods: Data were collected from an online ovarian cancer forum hosted by MedHelp.org in the form of transcripts of participant discussions. No identifying information about participants was collected. Grounded theory, a qualitative research method, was employed to develop a theory by analyzing the data. The aim of the analysis was to explore the role this forum played in ovarian cancer disease management.
Results: Data analysis helped to determine participant roles and behaviors. The results suggested that an information seeker–information provider communication process existed among users of the forum observed. Participants in the online forum shared both technical and emotional knowledge and experience in order to achieve self-management of the disease while building trust and support.
Conclusions: This study concluded that online discussion forums can play a crucial and indispensable role in dealing with diseases such as ovarian cancer, for which limited treatment options exist. Health educators can leverage online discussion forums to promote lifestyle choices and disseminate information about treatment and testing, while getting active feedback from the audience.

Keywords: online discussion forums, community, disease management, self-management, trust, support

Download Article [PDF] View Full Text [HTML] 

Creative Commons License This work is published by Dove Medical Press Limited, and licensed under Creative Commons Attribution - Non Commercial (unported, v3.0) License. The full terms of the License are available at http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/3.0/. Non-commercial uses of the work are permitted without any further permission from Dove Medical Press Limited, provided the work is properly attributed. Permissions beyond the scope of the License are administered by Dove Medical Press Limited. Information on how to request permission may be found at: http://www.dovepress.com/permissions.php

Other articles by this author:

Patient engagement: an investigation at a primary care clinic

Gill PS

International Journal of General Medicine 2013, 6:85-98

Published Date: 3 March 2013

Distraction: an assessment of smartphone usage in health care work settings

Gill PS, Kamath A, Gill TS

Risk Management and Healthcare Policy 2012, 5:105-114

Published Date: 27 August 2012

Readers of this article also read:

Pharmacokinetics and pharmacodynamics of acetylsalicylic acid after intravenous and oral administration to healthy volunteers

Nagelschmitz J, Blunck M, Kraetzschmar J, Ludwig M, Wensing G, Hohlfeld T

Clinical Pharmacology: Advances and Applications 2014, 6:51-59

Published Date: 19 March 2014

Population pharmacokinetics of olprinone in healthy male volunteers

Kunisawa T, Kasai H, Suda M, Yoshimura M, Sugawara A, Izumi Y, Iida T, Kurosawa A, Iwasaki H

Clinical Pharmacology: Advances and Applications 2014, 6:43-50

Published Date: 4 March 2014

Patient engagement: an investigation at a primary care clinic

Gill PS

International Journal of General Medicine 2013, 6:85-98

Published Date: 3 March 2013

Distraction: an assessment of smartphone usage in health care work settings

Gill PS, Kamath A, Gill TS

Risk Management and Healthcare Policy 2012, 5:105-114

Published Date: 27 August 2012

Detemir as a once-daily basal insulin in type 2 diabetes

Nelson SE

Clinical Pharmacology: Advances and Applications 2011, 3:27-37

Published Date: 18 August 2011