Article

Social Support and Unsolicited Advice in a Bipolar Disorder Online Forum

Open University of Catalonia, Barcelona, Spain.
Qualitative Health Research (Impact Factor: 2.19). 08/2009; 19(7):931-42. DOI: 10.1177/1049732309338952
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT

How does a newly diagnosed user get inducted into a forum dedicated to people suffering from bipolar disorder? Is their opening message "matched" by the forum's reply? We add to the literature on social support online by using conversation analysis (CA) to explore an apparent contradiction between a new user's first post and forum members' replies with ostensibly unsolicited advice. CA reveals the intimate relation between turns in sequence, an aspect of online communication largely ignored in existing work on social support. Seen from this perspective, giving unsolicited advice, although apparently a "mismatch," turns out to be a consequence of the open design of the new user's initial posting. We speculate that such unsolicited advice might function at the ideological level to induct the new user into the mores of the group, not only in the kind of support it countenances giving, but into the very meaning of bipolarity itself.

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    • "A recent exception is Mudry and Strong's (2012) study on how members of an online forum for problem gamblers discursively co-constructed their status as a recovering gambler. Another example is a conversation analysis of an online forum for people with a bipolar disorder that revealed an " apparent mismatch between what the new user wanted and what the forum gave " (Vayreda & Antaki, 2009, p. 940). However, online communities for people with contested conditions have been explored in various other ways. "
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    ABSTRACT: In this article we report on a study that seeks to explore how the contested chronic condition myalgic encephalomyelitis (ME), one of the current medical diagnoses for medically unexplained long-term exhaustion, is negotiated within the context of Norwegian internet sites. From an analysis of discussions on 14 internet forums sustained by and for people living with ME, we seek to understand how their online activity sustains a virtual symbolic community (VSC). After exploring the content on these sites, we identified four discursive domains, or fields of conversation, that are demarcated by a discursive frame, or norms, values and goals that define and reinforce the boundaries of the community. Interpreting discursive domains and their discursive frame provides insight not only to the culture of the ME VSC but also to its role in an international social health movement, including its potential for becoming politically influential. Full text: http://qhr.sagepub.com/cgi/reprint/1049732314562893v1.pdf?ijkey=lYGp4WpzxQoz7vg&keytype=finite
    No preview · Article · Dec 2014 · Qualitative Health Research
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    • "Five studies examined opportunities for patients with psychosis to find peer support through the Internet (Bauer et al., 2013; Chang, 2009; Haker et al., 2005; Schrank et al., 2010; Vayreda & Antaki, 2009). The peer support consisted mainly of receiving information on their illness and its treatment and on sharing experiences with fellow patients. "
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    ABSTRACT: Background: Online social networking might facilitate the establishment of social contacts for people with psychosis, who are often socially isolated by the symptoms and consequences of their disorder. Aims: We carried out a systematic review exploring available evidence on the use of online social networking in people with psychosis. Methods: The review was conducted following Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses (PRISMA) guidelines. Included studies examined the use of the online social networking by people with an a priori diagnosis of psychosis (inclusive of bipolar disorder). Data from included studies were extracted and narratively synthesised. Results: A total of 11 studies, published between 2005 and 2013, reported data on online social networking in people with psychosis. People with psychosis seem to spend more time in chat rooms or playing online games than control groups. The use of other online tools, such as Facebook or communication through e-mail, is lower or the same than controls. Online social networking was used by patients with psychosis for establishing new relationships, maintaining relationships/reconnecting with people and online peer support. Conclusion: Online social networking, in the form of forums or online chats, could play a role in strategies aimed at enhancing social networks and reduce the risk of isolation in this population.
    Full-text · Article · Nov 2014 · International Journal of Social Psychiatry
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    • "Unfortunately, Internet forums for SLE patients (Mendelson, 2003) have received limited attention from health psychologists , if compared with other disorders, for example, cancer (Gooden and Winefield, 2007; Im et al., 2009; Lieberman and Goldstein, 2005; Sullivan, 2003), HIV/AIDS (Mo & Coulson (2010); Rier, 2007), and bipolar disorders (e.g. Vayreda and Antaki, 2009). Through this exploratory study, we wanted to contribute to fill this gap, analyzing the content of an online forum devoted to SLE. "
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    ABSTRACT: Internet forums represent a useful but understudied resource to understand psychosocial aspects of living with systemic lupus erythematosus. This study was aimed to describe the demand/supply of social support through the Internet in relation with the description of personal illness experiences. All the posts (118) from an Italian forum for systemic lupus erythematosus patients were collected and analyzed combining qualitative content analysis with statistical textual analysis. The results showed different purposes for posts: starting new relationships, seeking information, receiving emotional support, and giving a contribution. Lexical analysis identified three ways of describing patients' experiences. Discussion focuses on the relationship between the requested/offered support and systemic lupus erythematosus experiences.
    Full-text · Article · Mar 2013 · Journal of Health Psychology
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