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Herpes. 2009 Jan;15(3):57-61.

Common questions about herpes: analysis of chat-room transcripts.

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Division of Research and Health Communications, American Social Health Association, Research Triangle Park, NC 27709, USA.


Patients diagnosed with genital herpes typically undergo a period of psychological adjustment. Although healthcare providers can play a key role in this adjustment, in several patient surveys patients have expressed dissatisfaction with the information and counselling offered by professionals. To address this gap, providers must first identify the common questions and myths that are not addressed, or are addressed inadequately. This article is that first step. Through a content analysis of herpes chat-room transcripts captured on their website from autumn 2001 to spring 2006, researchers from the American Social Health Association identified common herpes questions and myths. The 1968 chat passages were coded into 12 themes and 50 sub-themes. Frequently, visitors' questions concerned transmission, symptoms and diagnosis followed by natural history, psychosocial issues and treatment options. The results of this analysis will aid in the creation of tailored messages to address common factual questions and provide psychosocial support.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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