Content Analysis of Cancer Blog Posts (Report)

Content Analysis of Cancer Blog Posts (Report)

INTRODUCTION AND BACKGROUND Internet sites and resources, including cancer blogs, have emerged as popular health communication media among cancer patients, their companions and caregivers, and health care professionals [1, 2]. Cancer patients and their companions or caregivers use blogging to discuss disease issues, share personal stories, and connect with friends and support networks. Uses of cancer blogs also include expanding one’s cancer-related knowledge, seeking opinions about or validating information received from health care providers, and preparing information for provider visits [3]. Caregivers or families seek out cancer information such as alternative treatment options, recent news, diagnostic and prognostic information for validation, and emotional relief. They also find information to assist cancer patients who may not have the physiological or psychological strength left for blogging [4, 5]. Not surprisingly, most of the shared medical information in blogs is typically specific to personalized disease matters, sometimes based on the blogger’s own experience with the disease. Increasingly, however, health care professionals also use web-based tools like blogs to share clinical knowledge, professional values, and personal experiences [6-10]. Blogging as a writing activity can promote good health. In fact, studies on the healing effect of expressive writing, based on the aspect of online social support, have been reported in the oncology social work and psychology literature [11].

Content Analysis of Cancer Blog Posts (Report)



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