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The Development of a Positive Community using Virtual Space for Cancer Patients

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3 Author(s)

This research investigated the effect of using a three-dimensional online chat environment on community development for cancer patients¿ mental health. In the support group, from two to five patients and one facilitator chatted in virtual space for a one and half hour session every week for three years using avatars with emotional expressions. The messages in the support group were analyzed by text mining tool. The results showed that the frequency of positive emotion words increased, on the other hand, the negative words decreased after one year. The percentage of participants¿ messages gradually increased with the sessions. The informational support in messages for improving their QOL (quality of life) increased during the three years. These data showed that the virtual support group promotes patients¿ positive emotions, QOL, and autonomy of the self-help group.

Published in:

Universal Communication, 2008. ISUC '08. Second International Symposium on

Date of Conference:

15-16 Dec. 2008