Candidacy Exam

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  • Sharing ideas (other contexts)
  • Why do this study? Designing a social software (i.e. o nline intervention programs) requires understanding the context of uses (i.e. social behaviors). Understanding this will help with creating technology that aids the building of supportive peer environments that can help people change behaviors. Social support can be exchanged across text-based communication tools, but little is known about the impact of design on social interactions. This unknown is a compelling reason for studying patterns of supportive behavior across different online communication tools. Why here? Health promotion (i.e. smoking cessation) Social interactions via technology can influence patient care and outcomes.
  • Introduction Research Context Background Research Problem Problem Statement Specific Context Research Questions Rationale Purpose of Study Objectives Expected Results Research Aims What will be done How it will be done
  • People use different communication channels, but it’s unclear how technology impacts the social interaction patterns of e-patients. The objective of this study is to understand e-patients communities by finding insights where communication tool design supports exchange of social support.
  • Candidacy Exam

    1. 1. Candidacy Exam Katherine Chuang iSchool at Drexel University September 14, 2010 An analysis of social interactions in online health social networking Committee Members: (Chair) Christopher C. Yang Jennifer Unger Jung-Ran Park Margo Orlin Michelle Rogers Susan Gasson
    2. 2. Agenda
    3. 3. Online Health Social Networking <ul><li>Main Topic </li></ul>
    4. 4. Definitions <ul><li>E-Patient: internet users who goes online for health information </li></ul><ul><li>Social Media in context of e-patients </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Example: MedHelp.com </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>“ connects people with leading medical experts and others who have similar experience” </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Founded in 1994 </li></ul></ul>
    5. 5.
    6. 6. <ul><li>Trends </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Social media are revolutionizing internet behavior (Nielson, 2009) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Users increasingly get their health information from online resources (PEW, 2009) </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Opportunity is in the overlap of these two trends </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Online intervention programs </li></ul></ul>
    7. 7. Social Support <ul><li>Face to Face </li></ul><ul><li>Computer Mediated </li></ul>
    8. 8. Overview <ul><li>Perspective </li></ul><ul><ul><li>User-Centered Design </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Context of Use </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Social networking </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Purpose </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Understand how social media is used in these communities </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Understand the different types of interactions supported by different types of social media </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Context </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Social media used for health promotion (i.e., online intervention program) </li></ul></ul>
    9. 9. Agenda
    10. 10. Inspiration
    11. 11. Social Interactions in Social Media <ul><li>“ Not all relationships nor communication platforms are equal.” </li></ul>
    12. 12. Overview of Literature <ul><li>Previous studies of online support communities focused on… </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Identifying types of social support in online support groups </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Recognizing patient expertise </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Identifying group and user level interactions that facilitate social support exchanges </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Sharing personal experience </li></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Expressing gratitude </li></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Offering congratulations </li></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Comparing online and offline empathy </li></ul></ul>
    13. 13. Motivation <ul><li>Literature Review </li></ul>
    14. 14. Online Social Support <ul><li>Online social support complements face-to-face social interactions </li></ul><ul><li>Many different classifications from simple to complex </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Objective vs Subjective, tangible vs psychological (Caplan, 1974) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Emotional, appraisal, informational, instrumental (House, 1981) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Informational, tangible, esteem, network, emotional (Cutrona & Suhr, 1992) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Solve, solace, dismiss, escape (Barbee & Cunningham, 1995) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Emotional, informational, companionship </li></ul></ul><ul><li>In general there are 2 types (Cutrona & Suhr, 1992): </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Resources that assist individuals </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Emotional Understanding </li></ul></ul>
    15. 15. Two main types of social support <ul><li>Informational Support </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Advice </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Fact </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Personal experience </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Opinion </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Referral </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Instrumental Support </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Direct Service </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Indirect Service </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Nurturant Support </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Esteem </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Compliment </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Validation, Relief of Blame </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Network </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Access, Presence, Companions </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Emotional </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Relationship </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Physical Affection </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Confidentiality </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Sympathy, understanding </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Encouragement </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Prayer </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><li>Resources to assist </li></ul><ul><li>Emotional comforting </li></ul>
    16. 16. Levels of Social Supports <ul><li>Subject of discussion </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Health and support related communities more likely to have empathy present than other types of online communities (Himelboim, 2008; Preece, 1999) </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Population & communication platforms </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Forums are likely to have more informational than emotional support within a health community (Civan & Pratt, 2007; Coursaris & Liu, 2009; Eichhorn, 2008) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Listservs are likely to have more emotional support that encourage relationship building (Bambina, 2007; Braithwaite et al, 1999; Preece, 1999) </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Status & Social Roles </li></ul><ul><ul><li>In moderated communities, people rely on moderators to provide support (Cunningham et al, 2008) </li></ul></ul>
    17. 17. Support in Online Health Communities <ul><li>Social support positively influences adjustment to living with cancer (Civan & Pratt, 2007; Helgeson & Cohen, 1996; Swickert et al, 2002; Wright & Bell, 2003). Benefits include: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Assistance in coping with stress </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Improving situations (crisis recovery) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Preventing disease through behavior modification </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Effects may also be linked to perceived support rather than actual support (Faber & Wasserman, 2002; Haines et al, 2002; Swickert et al, 2002) </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Perceived </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Actual </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Social support resources are provided by a person’s social network </li></ul>
    18. 18. Many social media websites exist <ul><li>Text is dominant communication (even though there are technologies that provide richer experience) </li></ul><ul><li>Image Credit: http://nmap.org/favicon/ </li></ul>
    19. 19. Profile Posts
    20. 20. Text-Based Communication <ul><li>Comparing a few communication tools </li></ul>Platform Communication Type Accessibility Possible Distribution Who can post? Who is displayed prominently? Twitter/Status (microblog) Broadcast Private Public 1 to 1 1 to many Account holder Author Social Network Profile Page Guestbook, Testimonial Private 1 to 1 1 to many Authorized Profile Blogs Diary Public Private 1 to many Main author(s) Author Guestbooks Guestbook Private Public Many to 1 Anyone Host (not guests) Discussion Board Forum Public Many to Many Anyone None, all discuss topic
    21. 21. Unique Characteristics of Social Media <ul><li>User-Created Content </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Write public comments; upload photos, audio, links, etc </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Nonverbal – “likes”, gifts, pokes, application invites, event invites </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Visual Aspects </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Number of authors </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Audience access </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Identity information displayed on profiles </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Declare friends </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Online setting for online social support </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Anonymity </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Relief from stigma </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Connections outside immediate local network </li></ul></ul>
    22. 22. Studying social interactions <ul><li>Social structures have impact on an individual’s psychological well-being (Durkheim, 1957). </li></ul><ul><li>Social network analysis graphically represents networks (Wellman, 1981) </li></ul>
    23. 23. Measuring with Social Network Analysis
    24. 24. Measures of Social Networks <ul><li>*online support groups using structural analysis </li></ul>Study Sample Analysis Metrics Software Bambina, 2007 Support OnLine Cancer Forum 1149 msgs Network Centralization Actor Centrality Blockmodeling Ucinet 6 Concor Chang, 2009 PTT.CC Size Density Cliques Network Centralization Ucinet 6.96 Pfiel & Zaphiris, 2009 SeniorNet Density Inclusiveness Reciprocity Cliques Cryam NetMiner II Takahashi et al, 2009 n/a Centrality Ucinet 6.1 Pajek 1.20
    25. 25. Shapes of communication patterns
    26. 26. Emotional Communication <ul><li>Emotional communication ties people together (Pfiel & Zaphiris, 2009) </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Emotional communication = higher density, higher inclusiveness, higher closeness </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Factual communication = loose and few members </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Communication platforms within a community (Chuang & Yang, 2010) </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Journals & Profile Posts likely to contain more emotional communication than factual information </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Discussion boards likely contain more factual information than emotional communication </li></ul></ul>
    27. 27. MedHelp Alcoholism Community <ul><li>iConference 2010, “Social Support in Online Healthcare Social Networking” </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Objective: examine informational and emotional support exchanged among an alcoholism discussion forum </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Finding: Peers are supportive to one another by providing resources and encouragement. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>AMIA 2010, “A comparative study of supportive interactions between e-patients across communication functions of a social network site” </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Objective: compare levels of social support of two social media platforms (discussion forum and journals). </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Findings: MedHelp’s alcoholism community members are more likely to exchange information on the discussion forum and emotional support on through journals. Conclusion: The different levels could be related to the communication tool design characteristics or social roles that people perform. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Publications </li></ul>
    28. 28. MedHelp Alcoholism Community <ul><li>ASIST 2010, “Helping you to help me: Exploring supportive Interaction in Online health community” </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Objective: Compare of levels of social support types (informational, nurturant) that were identified among interactions across three social media platforms (forum, journals, and notes) from an online alcoholism support community. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Findings: People use each communication tool for different purposes, which can be associated with each tool’s inherent design characteristics. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Forum was more likely to be used for exchanging information </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Journals and notes were more likely to be used for exchanging nurturant support. </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><li>Publications </li></ul>
    29. 29. Summary
    30. 30. Research Gaps <ul><li>Communication tools are different, they are used differently </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Researchers studying online health communities generalize their findings </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Relationships are different, people act in different social roles </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Moderators looked to as source of support </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Positional analysis to study behavior </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Classifying users based on who they are interacting with rather than number of ties </li></ul></ul>
    31. 31. Agenda
    32. 32. Research Questions <ul><li>What is the impact of social media platforms on e-patient social support exchanges? </li></ul><ul><ul><li>What does social interaction look like on a health social network site? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>What roles do people have (or believe they have) in exchanging social support in an online environment? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>What are the differences in using different social media platforms? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>What is the impact of these differences on social support? </li></ul></ul>
    33. 33. Research Impact <ul><li>This research would help….. </li></ul><ul><li>health professionals and system analysts who design and implement online intervention programs using social media technologies </li></ul><ul><li>researchers studying online social support as a technique to change behavior </li></ul><ul><li>inform policy makers who determine practice guidelines. </li></ul><ul><li>improve users’ experience of online intervention programs. </li></ul>
    34. 34. Actionable Impacts <ul><li>What are specific things that can be done to advertise support communities in generic social media (i.e. twitter, facebook)? </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Take advantage of existing accounts (i.e. openid, facebookapps, api) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Take advantage of existing social networks </li></ul></ul><ul><li>What can my research do to help MedHelp advertise to patients? </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Improvements to website’s user interface and functionality </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Clarifying mental models of using social media </li></ul></ul><ul><li>In answering the research questions, other issues can also be addressed: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Limited internet access (i.e. access through dialup, mobile) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Specific populations (i.e. senior citizens, rural residents) </li></ul></ul>
    35. 35. Questions, comments, suggestions? <ul><li>Thank you! </li></ul>
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