Patients' Online Communities Experiences of Emergent Swedish Self-help on the Internet
Springer London, Dordrecht Amsterdam
This paper identifies and analyses characteristics of Patients’ Online Communities (POC) in Sweden. The purpose of the paper is to increase our understanding of how individuals design online social support and how this can inform design in a wider perspective. The study presents a fine-grained picture of POC covering both the contextual structures and the community culture. Two important driving forces of POC (to get informed and to interact with others in similar situation) are identified. These serve as a basis for the introductory discussion provided on how the experiences from POC can serve as implications for the emergent design of Internet based communication between patients and health care providers.