Background Patients are using online health forums (OHFs) to exchange about their health, diseases and treatments. Some OHFs are independent, not submitted to health care providers’ control nor to social desirability. This must probably influence the very nature of patient’s learning. Objectives: This research aims to bring some answers to the following questions: What are the characteristics of independent OHFs? What are OHF internaut patients’ profile? How do they use OHFs? Are there any characteristics that might help to understand their use of OHFs? Methods: A literature review has been undertaken querying 10 databases. The review was completed with an analysis of the “grey literature”. Eleven keywords were used singly or in combination. The article selection was conducted by two independent researchers. Results: 23 documents were selected and analysed. Five OHF definitions, three user’s classifications and four OHF uses were identified and analysed. Discussion: The review allowed us to 1) formulate a definition of a chronic health conditions oriented OHF, 2) describe its characteristics, 3) suggest a users’ classification and, 4) describe the four OHF uses. Conclusions: Independent OHF is a virtual and free space beyond institutional control. It may be considered as a learning and educational media, formal and informal, and spontaneous. The understanding of the knowledge acquisition processes and strategies among OHF users is necessary in order to use this web tool as patient education strategy.
|Titolo:||Helping patients to learn: characteristics and types of users and uses of independent online forums on health problems and chronic conditions.|
|Data di pubblicazione:||2019|
|Appare nelle tipologie:||1.1 Articolo in rivista|