Abstract - The Information Society 21(2)

Coping with Illness Online: The Case of Patients’ Online Communities

Ulrika Josefsson

This paper identifies and analyses characteristics of Patients’ Online Communities (POC) in Sweden. Using a qualitative approach it presents a fine-grained picture of the communities covering both the structural and cultural factors. Acknowledging the debate about quality of health information online and the potential risks of e-health the paper argues that a deeper understanding of the dynamics of POC, which offer unique aides for the coping process of chronically ill patients, can contribute to the design of the emergent forms of Internet based healthcare resources.

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