Supportive communication, sense of virtual community and health outcomes in online infertility groups

  title={Supportive communication, sense of virtual community and health outcomes in online infertility groups},
  author={Jennifer L. Welbourne and Anita L. Blanchard and Marla D. Boughton},
Women are turning to online health groups to deal with the stresses and complications of infertility. Online groups may provide a resource that is potentially absent in their face-to-face communities. This study examines how the sense of virtual community (SOVC) that develops in these groups serves as a buffer between perceived stress and physical health symptoms. A sample of 122 women from two virtual communities completed an online survey. Results show that observing the exchange of emotional… 

Tables from this paper

Communicating social support online: a new classification dichotomy for exploring coping in interaction concerning infertility
Abstract Objective: This study explores how social support is utilised in the context of an online infertility support group. Background: Social support is often studied to decipher how those with
"This Girl is on Fire": Sensemaking in an Online Health Community for Vulvodynia
Vulvodynia, a chronic pain syndrome of the vulvar region, is studied to extend the field's understanding of OHCs, and to propose implications for the design of self-tracking tools to support sensemaking in enigmatic conditions.
Video-Mediated Peer Support in an Online Community for Recovery from Substance Use Disorders
Two synergistic investigations of participants' use, perceptions, and tensions around video meetings on ITR are described: an online questionnaire, and in-depth inter-views with active site members.
Explorations of uncertainty management: internet based behaviors of caregivers in the context of clubfoot
This dissertation includes two studies that examined the presence of uncertainty management behaviors in online interactions among parents (caregivers) of children with clubfeet, and empirically tested the applicability of the uncertainty management theory to online behaviors.
Managing uncertainty in the context of clubfoot care: exploring the value of uncertainty management theory and the sense of virtual community.
The results of this research suggest that the UMT needs to be adapted for use in online contexts, and theoretical constructs, such as the sense of virtual community, specifically developed to measure online interactions should be included.
Maternity and Meaning-Making: A Qualitative Study Exploring the Health Educational Experiences of Pregnant and Parenting Youth
Regardless of maternal age, the transition to motherhood is acknowledged as one of the most challenging in the life cycle. This transition poses even greater challenges for young mothers that are
Exploring Self-Identified Counseling Expertise in Online Support Forums
The role of expertise in responses provided to help-seeking posts regarding mental health is explored and a classifier can distinguish between these two groups, indicating that their language use does in fact differ.
Exploring Sense of Community within an Online Healthcare Context
This paper argues that organisations considering corporate community involvement within online communities need to understanding how the notion of sense of community (SOC) is manifested and
Emotional and Informational Supportive Exchanges as Predictors of Relational Health and Well-Being in Computer-Mediated Support Groups for Individuals with a Traumatic Brain Injury
Emotional and Informational Supportive Exchanges as Predictors of Relational Health and Well-Being in Computer-Mediated Support Groups for Individuals with a Traumatic Brain Injury Craig D.


Internet Community Group Participation: Psychosocial Benefits for Women with Breast Cancer
Over time, a positive shift was shown in women's affect toward the breast cancer and online community, and a positive correlation was found between amount of participation and psychosocial well-being.
Receiving Social Support Online: An Analysis of a Computer-Mediated Support Group for Individuals Living with Irritable Bowel Syndrome
  • N. Coulson
  • Psychology, Medicine
    Cyberpsychology Behav. Soc. Netw.
  • 2005
The analysis suggests that the primary function of this group was the communication of informational support, notably within the areas of symptom interpretation, illness management, and interaction with health care professionals.
Does activity level in online support groups for distressed adolescents determine emotional relief
Abstract Online support groups are widely used for numerous types of distress areas, but relatively little has been empirically examined to date in regard to their effectiveness in providing
This study examined the relationship between psychological sense of community, social-support networks, and care-giver stress and satisfaction among firefighters. No significant gender differences
Communication patterns in an on‐line mutual help group for problem drinkers
This study analyzed 376 randomly selected messages (known as “posts”) to investigate the features, patterns, and functions of communication in an on-line mutual help group (OMHG) for problem
Social support and adjustment to cancer: reconciling descriptive, correlational, and intervention research.
  • V. Helgeson, S. Cohen
  • Psychology
    Health psychology : official journal of the Division of Health Psychology, American Psychological Association
  • 1996
Several research literatures are reviewed that address the associations of emotional, informational, and instrumental social support to psychological adjustment to cancer and the evidence for the effectiveness of peer discussion groups aimed at providing emotional support is less than convincing.
If you spoke as she does, sir, instead of the way you do: a sociolinguistics perspective of gender differences in virtual communities
A closer look at the differences in virtual community quality reveals a more complex picture, with undertones in mixed-gender communities being less than in their respective mostly single- gender communities.
Beyond Hearing : Where Real-World and Online Support Meet
A random sample survey of an online self-help group for people with hearing loss was conducted. Two factors predicted active participation in the group: a lack of real-world social support and being
Effects of Insightful Disclosure Within Computer Mediated Support Groups on Women With Breast Cancer
This study is among the first published studies to quantitatively link any specific activity within a CMSS group to any specific outcomes and has implications for improving psychosocial interventions for people with health concerns.