Communication That Changes Lives: Social Support Within an Online Health Community for ALS

Susan Stewart Loane, Steven D'Alessandro*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

26 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Impaired communication due to a disabling illness can lead to reduced participation in community life. Online health communities can provide a substitute community for the purpose of social support and information sharing. This study examines communication between participants in an online community for patients and carers affected by Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis, a degenerative neurological disease affecting communication and mobility. The study finds community members engaged in a dynamic interchange of information and social support. The results contribute to understanding of communication and social support needs of people with high levels of disability.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)236-251
Number of pages16
JournalCommunication Quarterly
Volume61
Issue number2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2013

Keywords

  • Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis
  • Disability
  • Internet Communication
  • Online Communities
  • Social Support

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