Parents Managing Clubfoot

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  • Title: Parents Managing Clubfoot: A Content Analysis of Internet-based Social Support Behaviors with a Focus on Uncertainty Management and Health Communication
  • Author(s): Florin Oprescu, Shelly Campo, John Lowe, Julie Andsager, Jose A. Morcuende
  • Publisher: Common Ground Research Networks
  • Collection: Common Ground Research Networks
  • Series: Interdisciplinary Social Sciences
  • Journal Title: The International Journal of Interdisciplinary Social and Community Studies
  • Keywords: Uncertainty Management Theory, Online Social Support, Caregivers, Birth Defects, Clubfoot, Information Technology, Online Support Communities, Health Communication
  • Volume: 7
  • Issue: 3
  • Year: 2013
  • ISSN: 2324-7576 (Print)
  • ISSN: 2324-7584 (Online)
  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.18848/2324-7576/CGP/v07i03/53485
  • Citation: Oprescu, Florin, Shelly Campo, John Lowe, Julie Andsager, and Jose A. Morcuende. 2013. "Parents Managing Clubfoot: A Content Analysis of Internet-based Social Support Behaviors with a Focus on Uncertainty Management and Health Communication." The International Journal of Interdisciplinary Social and Community Studies 7 (3): 83-101. doi:10.18848/2324-7576/CGP/v07i03/53485.
  • Extent: 19 pages

Abstract

Using established categories of social support and the Uncertainty Management Theory, this interdisciplinary study situated at the intersection of social science, medicine, information technology and health communication explored the types of social support exchanged by caregivers in a virtual online support community for parents of children with clubfoot. A systematic content analysis of 775 messages indicated that the online environment allows participants to receive and provide a wide range of social support, particularly informational, emotional and esteem support. Results reveal what social support behaviors members of the online support community (OSC) exhibit as a result of requests from their peers, thus identifying what types of health communication may be effective in such settings. Furthermore, OSCs provide a great opportunity for scholars and practitioners to learn about the experiences of caregivers of children with health conditions and explore where gaps in health communication may exist. It is suggested that online support communities are key channels for future health research, communication and interdisciplinary practice.