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Comput Nurs. 2001 Jan-Feb;19(1):27-33.

Computer-mediated support group use among parents of children with cancer--an exploratory study.

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  • 1University of Maryland School of Nursing, Baltimore, MD, USA.


This study describes aspects of computer group use as a vehicle for self-help by parents of children with cancer. Using an electronic mail system, data were gathered from 73 parents who had participated in online support groups. Most participants were Caucasian, well educated, and reported annual incomes of more than $50,000. The perceived benefits of the computer group involvement were getting information, sharing experiences, receiving general support, venting feelings, gaining accessibility, and using writing. The disadvantages included "noise," negative emotions, large volume of mail, and lack of physical contact and proximity. The findings indicate that computer group use is more common in parents with relatively high socioeconomic status. There are certain advantages and disadvantages of computer group use that need to be recognized and addressed by health professionals and users.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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