Determinants of engagement in face-to-face and online patient support groups

C.F. Kraan, Constance H.C. Drossaert, Erik Taal, Willem M. Smit, Hein J. Bernelot Moens, Mart A F J van de Laar

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Abstract

Background: Although peer-to-peer contact might empower patients in various ways, studies show that only a few patients actually engage in support groups.

Objective: The objective of our study was to explore factors that facilitate or impede engagement in face-to-face and online peer support, using the Theory of Planned Behavior.

Methods: A questionnaire was completed by 679 patients being treated for arthritis, breast cancer, or fibromyalgia at two Dutch regional hospitals.

Results: Our results showed that only a minority of the patients engaged in organized forms of peer support. In total 10% (65/679) of the respondents had engaged in face-to-face meetings for patients in the past year. Only 4% (30/679) of the respondents had contact with peers via the Internet in the past year. Patients were more positive about face-to-face peer support than about online peer support (P < .001). In accordance with the Theory of Planned Behavior, having a more positive attitude (P < .01) and feeling more supported by people in the social environment (P < .001) increased the intention to participate in both kinds of peer support. In addition, perceived behavioral control (P = .01) influenced the intention to participate in online peer support. Nevertheless, the intention to engage in face-to-face and online peer support was only modestly predicted by the Theory of Planned Behavior variables (R2 = .33 for face-to-face contact and R2 = .26 for online contact).

Conclusion: Although Health 2.0 Internet technology has significantly increased opportunities for having contact with fellow patients, only a minority seem to be interested in organized forms of peer contact (either online or face-to-face). Patients seem somewhat more positive about face-to-face contact than about online contact.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere106
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of medical internet research
Volume13
Issue number4
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2011

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Self-Help Groups
Internet
Fibromyalgia
Social Environment
Arthritis
Emotions
Breast Neoplasms
Technology
Health

Keywords

  • IR-85156
  • METIS-282213

Cite this

@article{007f18119b5c4cb1b47cdcd35425ac15,
title = "Determinants of engagement in face-to-face and online patient support groups",
abstract = "Background: Although peer-to-peer contact might empower patients in various ways, studies show that only a few patients actually engage in support groups.Objective: The objective of our study was to explore factors that facilitate or impede engagement in face-to-face and online peer support, using the Theory of Planned Behavior.Methods: A questionnaire was completed by 679 patients being treated for arthritis, breast cancer, or fibromyalgia at two Dutch regional hospitals.Results: Our results showed that only a minority of the patients engaged in organized forms of peer support. In total 10{\%} (65/679) of the respondents had engaged in face-to-face meetings for patients in the past year. Only 4{\%} (30/679) of the respondents had contact with peers via the Internet in the past year. Patients were more positive about face-to-face peer support than about online peer support (P < .001). In accordance with the Theory of Planned Behavior, having a more positive attitude (P < .01) and feeling more supported by people in the social environment (P < .001) increased the intention to participate in both kinds of peer support. In addition, perceived behavioral control (P = .01) influenced the intention to participate in online peer support. Nevertheless, the intention to engage in face-to-face and online peer support was only modestly predicted by the Theory of Planned Behavior variables (R2 = .33 for face-to-face contact and R2 = .26 for online contact).Conclusion: Although Health 2.0 Internet technology has significantly increased opportunities for having contact with fellow patients, only a minority seem to be interested in organized forms of peer contact (either online or face-to-face). Patients seem somewhat more positive about face-to-face contact than about online contact.",
keywords = "IR-85156, METIS-282213",
author = "C.F. Kraan and Drossaert, {Constance H.C.} and Erik Taal and Smit, {Willem M.} and {Bernelot Moens}, {Hein J.} and {van de Laar}, {Mart A F J}",
year = "2011",
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journal = "Journal of medical internet research",
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Determinants of engagement in face-to-face and online patient support groups. / Kraan, C.F.; Drossaert, Constance H.C.; Taal, Erik; Smit, Willem M.; Bernelot Moens, Hein J.; van de Laar, Mart A F J.

In: Journal of medical internet research, Vol. 13, No. 4, e106, 2011.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

TY - JOUR

T1 - Determinants of engagement in face-to-face and online patient support groups

AU - Kraan, C.F.

AU - Drossaert, Constance H.C.

AU - Taal, Erik

AU - Smit, Willem M.

AU - Bernelot Moens, Hein J.

AU - van de Laar, Mart A F J

PY - 2011

Y1 - 2011

N2 - Background: Although peer-to-peer contact might empower patients in various ways, studies show that only a few patients actually engage in support groups.Objective: The objective of our study was to explore factors that facilitate or impede engagement in face-to-face and online peer support, using the Theory of Planned Behavior.Methods: A questionnaire was completed by 679 patients being treated for arthritis, breast cancer, or fibromyalgia at two Dutch regional hospitals.Results: Our results showed that only a minority of the patients engaged in organized forms of peer support. In total 10% (65/679) of the respondents had engaged in face-to-face meetings for patients in the past year. Only 4% (30/679) of the respondents had contact with peers via the Internet in the past year. Patients were more positive about face-to-face peer support than about online peer support (P < .001). In accordance with the Theory of Planned Behavior, having a more positive attitude (P < .01) and feeling more supported by people in the social environment (P < .001) increased the intention to participate in both kinds of peer support. In addition, perceived behavioral control (P = .01) influenced the intention to participate in online peer support. Nevertheless, the intention to engage in face-to-face and online peer support was only modestly predicted by the Theory of Planned Behavior variables (R2 = .33 for face-to-face contact and R2 = .26 for online contact).Conclusion: Although Health 2.0 Internet technology has significantly increased opportunities for having contact with fellow patients, only a minority seem to be interested in organized forms of peer contact (either online or face-to-face). Patients seem somewhat more positive about face-to-face contact than about online contact.

AB - Background: Although peer-to-peer contact might empower patients in various ways, studies show that only a few patients actually engage in support groups.Objective: The objective of our study was to explore factors that facilitate or impede engagement in face-to-face and online peer support, using the Theory of Planned Behavior.Methods: A questionnaire was completed by 679 patients being treated for arthritis, breast cancer, or fibromyalgia at two Dutch regional hospitals.Results: Our results showed that only a minority of the patients engaged in organized forms of peer support. In total 10% (65/679) of the respondents had engaged in face-to-face meetings for patients in the past year. Only 4% (30/679) of the respondents had contact with peers via the Internet in the past year. Patients were more positive about face-to-face peer support than about online peer support (P < .001). In accordance with the Theory of Planned Behavior, having a more positive attitude (P < .01) and feeling more supported by people in the social environment (P < .001) increased the intention to participate in both kinds of peer support. In addition, perceived behavioral control (P = .01) influenced the intention to participate in online peer support. Nevertheless, the intention to engage in face-to-face and online peer support was only modestly predicted by the Theory of Planned Behavior variables (R2 = .33 for face-to-face contact and R2 = .26 for online contact).Conclusion: Although Health 2.0 Internet technology has significantly increased opportunities for having contact with fellow patients, only a minority seem to be interested in organized forms of peer contact (either online or face-to-face). Patients seem somewhat more positive about face-to-face contact than about online contact.

KW - IR-85156

KW - METIS-282213

U2 - 10.2196/jmir.1718

DO - 10.2196/jmir.1718

M3 - Article

VL - 13

JO - Journal of medical internet research

JF - Journal of medical internet research

SN - 1439-4456

IS - 4

M1 - e106

ER -