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Systematic Literature Reviews Health Information Management Journal

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Systematic Literature Reviews Health Information Management Journal

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There is a need to enhance the effectiveness and reach of complex health promotion initiatives by providing opportunities for diverse health promotion practitioners and others to interact in online settings. This paper reviews the existing literature on how to take health promotion communities and networks into online settings. A scoping review of relevant bodies of literature and empirical evidence was undertaken to provide an interpretive synthesis of existing knowledge on the topic. Sixteen studies were identified between 1986 and 2007. Relatively little research has been conducted on the process of taking existing offl ine communities and networks into online settings. However, more research has focused on offline (i.e. not mediated via computer networks); ‘virtual’ (purely online with no offl ine interpersonal contact); and ‘multiplex’ communities (i.e. those that interact across both online and offl ine settings). Results are summarised under three themes: characteristics of communities in online and offl ine settings; issues in moving offl ine communities online, and designing online communities to match community needs. Existing health promotion initiatives can benefit from online platforms that promote community building and knowledge sharing. Online ehealth promotion settings and communities can successfully integrate with existing offl ine settings and communities to form ‘multiplex’ communities (i.e. communities that operate fl uently across both online and offl ine settings).

There is a need to enhance the effectiveness and reach of complex health promotion initiatives by providing opportunities for diverse health promotion practitioners and others to interact in online settings. This paper reviews the existing literature on how to take health promotion communities and networks into online settings. A scoping review of relevant bodies of literature and empirical evidence was undertaken to provide an interpretive synthesis of existing knowledge on the topic. Sixteen studies were identified between 1986 and 2007. Relatively little research has been conducted on the process of taking existing offl ine communities and networks into online settings. However, more research has focused on offline (i.e. not mediated via computer networks); ‘virtual’ (purely online with no offl ine interpersonal contact); and ‘multiplex’ communities (i.e. those that interact across both online and offl ine settings). Results are summarised under three themes: characteristics of communities in online and offl ine settings; issues in moving offl ine communities online, and designing online communities to match community needs. Existing health promotion initiatives can benefit from online platforms that promote community building and knowledge sharing. Online ehealth promotion settings and communities can successfully integrate with existing offl ine settings and communities to form ‘multiplex’ communities (i.e. communities that operate fl uently across both online and offl ine settings).

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Systematic Literature Reviews Health Information Management Journal

  1. 1. Moving offline communities online Dr. Jenine Beekhuyzen Vice Chancellors’ Research Fellow University of Southern Queensland Brisbane, Australia Based on paper: Sunderland, N., Beekhuyzen, J. Wolski, M. & Kendall, E. (2012) Multiplex communities in place- based health promotion: A literature review of moving offline communities online, Health Information Management Journal, 42(2) pp9-16 http://www98.griffith.edu.au/dspace/bitstream/handle/10072/54874/88574_1.pdf?sequence=1
  2. 2. Context • Enable health equity in line with the Ottawa Charter on Health Promotion (WHO) and the social determinants of health • Focused on place-based health promotion initiatives in culturally & linguistically diverse (CALD) low-socio economic communities (Logan/Beaudesert) • Wilson and Peterson’s (2002) extensive review • identified a missing link between the historically constituted sociocultural practices within and outside of mediated communication and the language practices, social interactions, and ideologies of technology that emerge from new information and communication technologies • ——> To situate current practices, we compare with previously existing media and communication technologies e.g. how social practices were conducted before the advent of digital technologies
  3. 3. SLR • Systematic Literature Review - scoping review • RQ “What are the key concepts and conditions for successfully moving an offline community online?” • 16 studies in literature between 1986-2013 • Offline - non-mediated via computer networks • Virtual - purely online / no offline contact • Multiplex - interact across offline and online
  4. 4. Three main themes for designing multiplex communities • Characteristics of communities in online and offline settings • Issues in moving offline communities online • Designing online communities to match community needs Aim of review: Identify existing evidence to guide the development of an online platform to support complex offline health promotion activities
  5. 5. Main Findings (1) • Characterisation of communities (McMillan & Chavis 1986) • Strong membership base • Sustained through loyalty and commitment to community. Loyalty is linked to influence by peers to regularly participate and contribute • Members’ perceived usefulness and sense of belonging = shared emotional connection strengthened through ongoing, shared experiences
  6. 6. Main Findings (2) • Multiplex communities can produce significant benefits • Strong and sustained community ties and attachment • Enhanced engagement in online settings • Shared governance extending across offline / online • Enhanced social presence within online engagements
  7. 7. Main Findings (3) • Two main limitations of multiplex communities • Those already well educated and connected offline will be more inclined to connect online in sustained ways than those less well educated, less extroverted and who experience social isolation • Groups of participants who do not connect online can separate from the main group and re-form as sub-communities in offline settings which may weaken the value of the online setting
  8. 8. Lessons leant (1) • Design strategies that appease non-experts and that encourage multiplex relationships can help improve the success of online communities • Existing health promotion initiatives can benefit from online platforms that promote community building and knowledge sharing • Online e-health promotion settings and communities can successfully integrate with existing offline settings and communities to form ‘multiplex’ communities operating fluent across both offline and online settings
  9. 9. Lessons leant (2) • Multiplex communities can result in positive improvements in health and the social determinants of health include: • Integrated and holistic approaches • Interventions that are fully implemented without premature discontinuation • Use of community engagement, participation and ownership • Focus on long term and sustainable benefits • Must continually to facilitate social interactions among members, creating loyalty and commitment
  10. 10. Contact Dr. Jenine Beekhuyzen jenine.Beekhuyzen@usq.edu.au

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