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Oct 28, 2005

Online support helps people with chronic illnesses cope

Via BBC news

Results of a review study conducted by Elizabeth Murray and co-workers from University College London suggest that the use of interactive websites can help people with chronic illnesses such as depression, heart disease and HIV/Aids.

The review was based on a total of 24 studies involving 3,739 participants who all had chronic (long-term) health conditions. UCL researchers looked at these patients' use of interactive computer websites and programmes, which contained information services plus online support groups, chatrooms, or tailored advice based on a person's details, affected people with such chronic diseases.

The authors of the research found that interactive sites were of greater benefit to people than those with information alone, or not using sites at all. Moreover, researchers found that such sites made patients feel better informed, more socially supported, and helped them to improve self-efficacy - a person's belief in their ability to carry out potentially-beneficial actions.

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