"There's Always Hope": Content, Participants, and Dynamics of Discussions in a Lung Cancer Internet Support Group

"There's Always Hope": Content, Participants, and Dynamics of Discussions in a Lung Cancer Internet Support Group

Tamar Ginossar (University of New Mexico, USA)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-61520-863-0.ch016
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Abstract

The Internet has changed the ways in which many people cope with illnesses, by allowing for conversations between similar others that transcend traditional barriers of time and place. Despite the revolutionary potential of Internet support groups, little is known about the ebb and flow of discussion in these groups. This chapter describes online discussion in a Lung Cancer Internet Support Group. Methods include quantitative and qualitative analysis of email messages posted to this group during one month. The results reveal (a) the content of the discussion, (b) participants in the discussion, (c) topics that elicited discussion and (d) themes and messages that were “silenced.” The implications of these findings to patients and their family members, to scholars, and to health practitioners are discussed.

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