Communities of care and caring: The case of MSWatch.com®

Robert Weis, Keith Stamm, Craig Smith, Michael Nilan, Fiona Clark, Joan Weis, Kate Kennedy

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

15 Scopus citations

Abstract

Can a health-care website stimulate its members to become a 'community of care and caring', facilitating both medical 'information' and personal 'support'? This study of MSWatch.com provides conceptual distinctions about 'ties' to a 'community' and raises questions about communications designed to serve patients with Multiple Sclerosis. An online survey of members of the website shows that members tend to: (1) make use of both its health-care information (care) and support (caring) functions, especially the former; (2) evaluate the website more highly overall if they make use of both information and support; (3) use the website the most during early stages of the disease; and (4) enhance their ties to the virtual community through using communication information and support.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)135-148
Number of pages14
JournalJournal of Health Psychology
Volume8
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 2003

Keywords

  • Community
  • Community ties
  • Health-care community
  • Patient community
  • Virtual community

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Applied Psychology

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    Weis, R., Stamm, K., Smith, C., Nilan, M., Clark, F., Weis, J., & Kennedy, K. (2003). Communities of care and caring: The case of MSWatch.com®. Journal of Health Psychology, 8(1), 135-148. https://doi.org/10.1177/1359105303008001449