Engagement in a newly launched online support community for complex regional pain syndrome: membership growth, header analysis and introductory messages

Smedley, Richard and Coulson, Neil S. and Gavin, Jeff and Rodham, Karen (2016) Engagement in a newly launched online support community for complex regional pain syndrome: membership growth, header analysis and introductory messages. International Journal of Web Based Communities, 12 (2). ISSN 1741-8216

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Abstract

Several studies have investigated forum engagement, with a small but growing body of research focusing on the number of people using a forum (membership growth), how they use it (header analysis) and how they introduce themselves (introductory messages). Most studies use established forums and little is known about newly launched forums. This study examines engagement in a newly launched forum for complex regional pain syndrome. Results showed that membership growth occurred in bursts that were closely linked to promotional strategies. Header analysis showed the forum was used throughout the day, evening and night, with a focus on providing support as well as receiving it. Introductory messages took the form of disease stories with six themes: personal details, precipitating event, symptoms, treatment, living with CRPS, and reasons for joining. Implications and areas for future research are discussed.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: © 2015 Inderscience Enterprises Ltd.
Keywords: Complex Regional Pain Syndrome; Online support groups; Patient interaction; Membership growth; Header analysis; Introductory messages; Thematic analysis
Schools/Departments: University of Nottingham, UK > Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences > School of Medicine > Division of Rehabilitation and Ageing
Identification Number: https://doi.org/10.1504/IJWBC.2016.077259
Depositing User: Coulson, Dr Neil
Date Deposited: 16 Nov 2016 11:37
Last Modified: 05 Dec 2016 02:18
URI: http://eprints.nottingham.ac.uk/id/eprint/38757

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