The Use of Online Communities for Mental Health Disorders: A Qualitative Case Study

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Title: The Use of Online Communities for Mental Health Disorders: A Qualitative Case Study
Authors: Bellissimo, Laura
Date: 2014-01-07
Abstract: The Internet has become an important platform for individuals to gain information and support regarding health-related issues. This qualitative case study examines the interactions among members within the specific online community healthyplace.com to determine how exactly people make use of health-related online forums and the types of interactions that take place within them. The study was performed and interpreted using Erving Goffman’s theory and perspective on human interaction among stigmatized individuals within the modern setting of Internet forums. The analysis of 52 forum posts and 234 forum replies throughout a two-year period are examined to determine common perceptions of depression and self that are present in the discussion forum. By applying Goffman’s dramaturgical perspective to the interpretation of the forum, an understanding of how individuals engaged in these online support communities as well as the motivation for these members was developed. This study contributes to the research of CMC for the purpose of health communication. Keywords:
URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10393/30370
CollectionCommunication - Mémoires // Communication - Research Papers
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