Review of Communication Research

HEALTH COMMUNICATION                                                                                                

Title & Authors

Communication in Health-Related Online Social Support Groups/Communities: A Review of Research on Predictors of Participation, Applications of Social Support Theory, and Health Outcomes

Kevin B. Wright (George Mason University, USA)

Highlights

• Overview of growth and impact of online support groups/communities.

• Predictors of online support group/community participation.

• Key theoretical frameworks applied to online support groups/communities.

• Critique of online support group theory and empirical studies.

• Overview and critique of online support groups/communities and health outcomes.

• Agenda for future research.

Abstract

This article reviews literature on online support groups/communities for individuals facing health concerns. Specifically, the article focuses on predictors of online support group/community participation, major theoretical frameworks that have been applied to the study of online support groups/communities, and coping strategies and health outcomes for individuals facing health concerns. Finally, the article discusses the strengths and limitations of existing empirical studies in this area; presents a critique of the relative merits and limitations of a number of theoretical frameworks that have been applied to the study of online support groups/communities for people facing health concerns; and it provides an agenda for future communication research on health-related online support groups/communities..

Content

 GROWTH OF ONLINE SUPPORT GROUPS/COMMUNITIES

PREDICTORS OF PARTICIPATION IN ONLINE SUPPORT GROUPS/COMMUNITIES

Limited Access to Adequate Support within Traditional Social Network(s)

Health-Related Stigma

Perceived Similarity/Credibility of Online Support Providers

Convenience and Other Features of Computer-Mediated Communication

KEY THEORETICAL FRAMEWORKS USED IN THE STUDY OF ONLINE

SUPPORT GROUPS/COMMUNITIES

The Buffering Effect Model

The Optimal Matching Model

Social Comparison Theory

Social Information Processing Theory/Hyperpersonal Interaction

Strength of Weak Ties Theory

OVERALL CRITIQUE OF THEORETICAL FRAMEWORKS USED IN ONLINE

SUPPORT GROUP/COMMUNITY STUDIES

ONLINE SOCIAL SUPPORT GROUPS/COMMUNITIES, COPING, AND HEALTH

OUTCOMES

Online Social Support and Coping

Online Social Support and Health Outcomes

LIMITATIONS OF EXISTING ONLINE SUPPORT GROUP/COMMUNITY

RESEARCH/THEORY AND AN AGENDA FOR FUTURE RESEARCH

CONCLUSION

REFERENCES

COPYRIGHTS AND REPOSITORIES

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Communication in Health-Related Online Social Support Groups/Communities: A Review of Research on Predictors of Participation, Applications of Social Support Theory, and Health Outcomes

Kevin B. Wright

 

Keywords: Online social support groups/communities, health communication, social support theory, computer-mediated communication, coping, health outcomes.

  Filesize 339.98 KB Download 1332

 

How to cite

Wright, K. B. (2016). Communication in Health-Related Online Social Support Groups/Communities: A Review of Research on Predictors of Participation, Applications of Social Support Theory, and Health Outcomes. Review of Communication Research, 4, 65-87. doi:10.12840/issn.2255-4165.2016.04.01.010

Keywords

Online social support groups/communities, health communication, social support theory, computer-mediated communication, coping, health outcomes.

Repositories

Permanent repositories where you can find this article:

 Academia.edu @ http://independent.academia.edu/ReviewofCommunicationResearch

 

About the Author

Kevin B. Wright is Professor at the Department of Communication, 

George Mason University, Virginia, USA.

Author Biographical Information: http://communication.gmu.edu/people/kwrigh16

Email:  This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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