Comforting communication in an online epilepsy forum

Fullwood, Chris ORCID: 0000-0002-7714-6783 and Wootton, Nicola (2009) Comforting communication in an online epilepsy forum. Journal of Cybertherapy and Rehabilitation, 2 (2). pp. 159-164.

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There is a tendency to think that face-to-face communication, particularly with respect to emotionally-sensitive issues, is a superior means of offering support compared to computer-mediated communication (CMC). However, there may be situations in which the reduced intimacy of CMC is beneficial to providing support. The current study investigated whether conditions necessary for effective supportive communication as outlined by Burleson and Goldsmith (1998), including anonymity, self-disclosure, discussion of thoughts and feelings and suggestion of change, were present in an online support forum produced by The National Society of Epilepsy. A content analysis was completed on 120 posts and results suggest that all conditions necessary for effective supportive communication were met within the forum. Furthermore, anonymity seems to be a key factor in allowing posters to discuss their thoughts and feelings. It may be the case that the stigma often associated with Epilepsy has a smaller impact with CMC.

Item Type: Article
Article Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: Online Behavior; Comforting Communication; Forum; Cybertherapy; Epilepsy
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology
Divisions: Schools and Research Institutes > School of Education and Science
Research Priority Areas: Health, Life Sciences, Sport and Wellbeing
Depositing User: Chris Fullwood
Date Deposited: 15 Nov 2022 09:48
Last Modified: 06 Mar 2024 11:02

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