What are people talking about on health-related Internet forums? Content analysis by illness and gender
Keywords:Internet forums, social support, content analysis, illness
In recent years, Internet has made possible the emergence and consolidation of a new form of interpersonal communication such as the discussion among members of health related bulletin boards or discussion forums. One of the more fruitful research work is aimed to analyze the content of the exchanged messages among participants.
The present work analyzes the frequency of the topics in the messages that are exchanged among users of internet discussion forums for health problems by sex and illness. A total of 756 postings of participants in four Spanish-speaking internet bulletin boards were analyzed (diabetes, fibromyalgia, sclerosis and asthma). Each posting was analyzed for the presence or absence of 15 coding categories subsumed under four broad categories (social support, illness and treatment issues, interpersonal issues and expression of emotions). Postings regarding giving informational support and instrumental support were more frequent at diabetes discussion board. Expressions of positive emotions (optimism and gratitude) were predominately found on fibromyalgia boards. Differences by sex were only found in some categories and in some forums.
How to Cite
Accion Psicologica is published under Creative Commons Attribution-Non Commercial (CC BY-NC). The opinions and contents of the articles published in Acción Psicológica are responsibility of the authors and do not compromise the scientific and political opinion of the journal. Authors are also responsible for providing copies of the raw data, ratings, and, in general, relevant experimental material to interested readers.