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Reading: Online interaction. Effects of storytelling in an internet breast cancer support group

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Online interaction. Effects of storytelling in an internet breast cancer support group

Authors:

Mette Terp Høybe ,

Department of Psychosocial Cancer Research, Institute of Cancer Epidemiology, Danish Cancer Society, Copenhagen
About Mette
Mette Terp Høybye, Department of Psychosocial Cancer Research, Institute of Cancer Epidemiology, Danish Cancer Society, Copenhagen, Denmark. Correspondence to: Danish Cancer Society, Institute of Cancer Epidemiology, Strandboulevarden 49, dk-2100 Copenhagen, Denmark.
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Christoffer Johansen,

Department of Psychosocial Cancer Research, Institute of Cancer Epidemiology, Danish Cancer Society, Copenhagen
About Christoffer
Department of Psychosocial Cancer Research, Institute of Cancer Epidemiology, Danish Cancer Society, Copenhagen, Denmark.
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Tine Tjørnhøj-Thomsen

Institute of Anthropology, University of Copenhagen, Copenhagen
About Tine
Institute of Anthropology, University of Copenhagen, Copenhagen, Denmark.
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Abstract

The internet provides new ways of forming social relationships among people with breast cancer and is increasingly used for this purpose. This qualitative study, using ethnographic case-study method, aimed to explore how support groups on the internet can break the social isolation that follows cancer and chronic pain, by analysing the storytelling emerging on the Scandinavian Breast Cancer Mailing list. Using participant observation and face-to-face or online interviews of participants, we investigated the motivations of 15 women who chose the internet to counteract social isolation after breast cancer. The results showed that the women were empowered by the exchanges of knowledge and experience within the support group. The internet was considered a means for finding ways of living with breast cancer. Our study suggests that internet support groups have important potential for the rehabilitation of cancer patients.
DOI: http://doi.org/10.18352/jsi.93
How to Cite: Høybe, M.T., Johansen, C. & Tjørnhøj-Thomsen, T., (2008). Online interaction. Effects of storytelling in an internet breast cancer support group. Journal of Social Intervention: Theory and Practice. 17(2), pp.29–40. DOI: http://doi.org/10.18352/jsi.93
Published on 29 Jun 2008.
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