Project title: Alcohol online support groups: the role of discussion forums in constructing users understanding of their condition /disease
Supervisors: Professor Peter Bath, Dr Jo Bates
Project description: My research is exploring the role that the discussion forums of alcohol online support groups can play in helping users to develop their beliefs about problem drinking. Beliefs about a problem or illness are very important. Research has shown these can impact on whether help is sought in the first place, what solutions are pursued to deal with the issue, how well people manage it and what use of any services they make. It is hoped that this research will help improve understanding of, and awareness about, the groups, particularly amongst those working with people with alcohol issues. This might then lead to more people who need the groups being given information about them.
The study is a 2-arm qualitative one, involving analysis of forum postings from three consenting
groups, and interviews with users of alcohol online support groups.
Research interests: I am chiefly interested in consumer health information, including health and ehealth literacy, and online support groups.
Achievements and awards:
- Dissertation of the Year 2015, awarded by University College London and Cerner Corporation
- Awards a Faculty of Social Sciences Scholarship to undertake my PhD with the Information School.
Conference proceedings papers
- Sanger S, Bath PA & Bates J (2018) The role of stories in three non-12 step alcohol online support groups. Lecture Notes in Computer Science (including subseries Lecture Notes in Artificial Intelligence and Lecture Notes in Bioinformatics), Vol. 10766 LNCS (pp 126-131)