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



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.
  • Year: 2008
  • Volume: 17 Issue: 2
  • Page/Article: 29-40
  • DOI: 10.18352/jsi.93
  • Published on 29 Jun 2008
  • Peer Reviewed