Posted: March 17th, 2017
Assignment #2: Patients’ Experiences with Chronic Illness
One of the requirements for this course is to monitor an online illness-related support group (e.g., PatientsLikeMe.com, (mainly neurogenic disease). You can also use ) but this site has much spam and junk. These online communities provide real life examples that complement the topics, theories and information presented in class. The primary objective of this assignment is for the student to gain an understanding of how the content presented in class are manifested in the lives of “real” patients. This objective will be achieved through the analysis of a chronic illness online support group. You will be responsible for providing examples demonstrating the dynamics often present in the lives of patients with chronic illnesses.
Specifically, you must answer the following questions:
1. Provide the name and web address of the online support group you have selected to monitor. What illness or disease does this online support group target? Explain why you choose this chronic disease or illness? Why did you choose this specific online support group? How long have you been monitoring this group? 2. Describe how the participants describe their ailment? Do they describe their ailment in terms of disease, illness, metaphorically, etc…?
3. What types of information do the participants seek most often?
4. Healthcare professionals participate in the online support group:
a. what healthcare professionals participate; b. what types of information do these healthcare professionals provide; and c. what other non-participating health professionals do you believe would be a good information source for this online support community, and explain your reasoning.
5. Did family members, friends and/or other significant others participate in the online support group? If so what type of information did they seek or contribute?
6. List and describe at least one body failure a participant listed. How did this body failure impact the performance for this participant? What was the impact on the patient’s identity?
7. What type of information did participants share/discuss in regard to medication or alternative treatments?
8. List an identity-relevant performance that was helped or hindered by a patient’s medication.
9. Provide an example of biographical work described by a participant. What process characterizes this biographical work (i.e., contextualizing, coming to terms, reconstituting identity, recasting biography)? Discuss the role of others (family, friend, etc.) in the process.
10. What types of opinions were expressed about healthcare professionals? Were these positive or negative?
Each answer must include at least one example taken directly (i.e., cut and pasted) from the online support group you have monitored. All of the examples must be dated after May 1, 2011. This should remove the temptation to borrow examples used by last year’s students.
Papers must be typed, double-spaced, with one inch margins, using a font size no larger than 12 point. Proper spelling, grammar, and usage are important.
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