A Longitudinal Investigation of Empathic Exchanges in Online Cancer Support Groups

Han, J.Y., Kim, E., & Lee, Y-I. (Grady Ph.D. student) (2017, May). A Longitudinal Investigation of Empathic Exchanges in Online Cancer Support Groups: Message Reception and Expression Effects on Patient’s Health Outcomes. Paper to be presented to the Health Communication Division of the International Communication Association Annual Conference, San Diego, CA.

Abstract: Although recent empirical findings have suggested evidence of expression effect over reception effect, there remain both theoretical and methodological complexities concerning whether and under what condition message expression and reception exert influence on various psychosocial outcomes. Relying on social support theory and computational social science approaches, this study aims to examine the effects of empathic exchanges on cancer patient’s short- and long-term health outcomes. Our findings suggest that both empathy expression and reception are crucial to attaining benefits for cancer patients, each predicting differential cognitive and affective health outcomes. Further, our finding supports the stress-buffering hypothesis that empathy reception provides a beneficial effect for patients who experienced a higher degree of depression associated with their cancer diagnosis and follow-up treatments.

Jeong-Yeob Han  Yen-I Lee 

Related Research


Where readers look, and what they miss

Abstract: Participants (N=88) in a two-condition (Facebook post information level: high vs. low) mixed factorial design took part in a laboratory experiment that utilized eye tracking to gauge what areas of the page in common news layouts attract viewers’ gaze, and whether this viewing amount of information about the story disclosed in the Facebook posts. […]

Bartosz WojdynskiCamila EspinaKate KeibJennifer MalsonHyejin BangYen-I Lee
read more
Image and framing effects on perceptions of self-efficacy and body satisfaction

Abstract: This study, in the context of encouraging participants to enroll in a company’s employee wellness program, uses gain-loss framing (Rothman & Salovey, 1997) and social comparison theory (Festinger, 1954) to examine the effects of messages on participant perceptions of self-efficacy for maintaining a healthy weight, consuming healthful foods and body satisfaction. A 2 (framing: […]

Maria Len-RíosYen-I Lee
read more