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Title: Development of a support group using a virtual space for cancer patients
Authors: Kusumi, Takashi  kyouindb  KAKEN_id  orcid (unconfirmed)
Ogura, Kanayo
Miura, Asako
Author's alias: 楠見, 孝
Keywords: support group
computer-mediated communication
multi-user dungeon
cancer patients
Issue Date: 24-Oct-2014
Publisher: Inderscience
Journal title: International Journal of Web Based Communities
Volume: 10
Issue: 4
Start page: 445
End page: 465
Abstract: We report findings from a chat log analysis of a support group in which two to five patients and one or two facilitators chatted in a virtual space; weekly sessions lasted 1.5 hrs. each, and we followed them over five years. In the virtual space, participants were represented by avatars with emotional expressions. Chat messages were analysed with a text-mining tool, exploring whether positive emotion words (e.g., ‘happy’), medicine-related words (e.g., ‘symptoms’), and informational/emotional-support messages (giving and receiving) would increase over time. We found that frequency of positive emotion words increased in Years 1–3 and remained constant thereafter; medical-related words did not increase until Year 5. Support messages increased from Years 1 to 3. Analysis of messages indicated that the patients’ and facilitators’ conversational roles changed as a sense of community emerged. The virtual support group appeared to promote positive emotions, trust among members, and mutual supportive relationships within the group.
Rights: © 2014 Inderscience Enterprises Ltd.
This is not the published version. Please cite only the published version.
DOI(Published Version): 10.1504/IJWBC.2014.065394
Appears in Collections:Journal Articles

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