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Web Communities for Preventive Health Care - Experienced Usability and Health Impact among Smokers and Overweight People

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1 Author(s)
Smedberg, A. ; Dept. of Comput. & Syst. Sci., Stockholm Univ., Kista, Sweden

The number of web based health communities has increased during the latest years, and so has also the number of users. Among these, we find the health communities for people who suffer from lifestyle problems. These communities aim at helping people change their habits, and thereby preventing them from getting severe illnesses later. The communities are used for conversations about everyday struggles for a healthier lifestyle, and they contain issues concerning treatments, exercises, motivation, setbacks, etc. The question is in what ways and to what extent these communities support self-management among the members. This paper presents the results from a survey to members of a web community on overweight and another one on smoking. The results showed the members' appreciation for existing conversational topics on facts and motivation. They also thought that answers in which the senders offer new perspectives were valuable and could increase.

Published in:

eHealth, Telemedicine, and Social Medicine, 2010. ETELEMED '10. Second International Conference on

Date of Conference:

10-16 Feb. 2010