Accelerating Best Practices in Peer Support Around the World
8.23.13

What is the role of online support from the perspective of facilitators of face-to-face support groups?

What is the role of online support from the perspective of facilitators of face-to-face support groups? A multi-method study of the use of breast cancer online communities

Bender JL, Katz J, Ferris LE, Jadad AR

Objective:
To explore the role of online communities from the perspective of breast cancer survivors who are facilitators of face-to-face support groups.

Methods:
Seventy-three attendees (73% response rate) of a Canadian support group-training program completed a questionnaire examining when and why they used online communities. A purposive sample of 12 respondents was interviewed on how they used them in comparison to traditional supportive care. Survey responses were analyzed using descriptive statistics, and interview transcripts using a descriptive interpretive approach.

Results:
Online communities were used by 31.5%, mostly during treatment (73.9%), daily or weekly (91.3%), primarily for information (91.3%) and symptom management (69.6%) and less for emotional support (47.8%). Reasons for non-use were lack of need (48.0%), self-efficacy (30.0%), trust (24.0%), and awareness (20.0%). Respondents used online communities to address unmet needs during periods of stress and uncertainty. A multi-theory framework helps to explain the conditions influencing their use.

Conclusions:
Online communities have the potential to fill gaps in supportive care by addressing the unmet needs of a subgroup of breast cancer survivors. Further research is required among typical cancer survivors.

Practice Implications:
Online communities could play an important role as a supplemental resource for a sub-group of breast cancer survivors.

Patient Education and Counseling; August 2013 [Full Abstract]

/ Leave a Comment /

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

*

e-Newsletter Signup
Thank you!

You have successfully subscribed to the Peers for Progress Newsletter.

To unsubscribe, click the unsubscribe link at the bottom of any e-Newsletter email.

Sorry, there was a problem.

We're sorry but there was a problem processesing your submission. Please try submitting again. If the problem persists, please contact us.

Please use this form to be added to the Peers for Progress e-Newsletter mailing list. Be the first to receive the latest news and resources on program development, state-of-the-art research, and networking opportunities.

Previous newsletters may be found at News & Events > Peers for Progress Newsletters.