Kim, E, Scheufele, D.A., Han, J.Y., & Shah, D.V. (2017). Online Leaders in Online Cancer Support Groups: An Investigation of their Antecedents and Consequences. Health Communication, 32(2), 142-151.
Abstract: With a focus on the nature and dynamic process of social interactions among breast cancer patients, this study argues that the notion of opinion leaders can be another crucial factor in explaining positive psychosocial health outcomes within computer-mediated social support (CMSS) groups. This study investigates the relationship between opinion leaders and their psychosocial health benefits by considering two overarching questions: (a) Who are the opinion leaders? (b) What role do these opinion leaders play in explaining health outcomes? The data analyzed in this study resulted from merging human-coded content analysis of discussion group messages, action log data analysis of interactive health system usage, and longitudinal survey data. Surveys were administered to 221 women with breast cancer; participants were provided free access to and training for the CMSS groups developed by the Comprehensive Health Support System (CHESS) project. The findings suggest that opinion leaders obtained psychosocial health benefits, such as higher levels of cancer information competence, breast cancer knowledge, and better problem-focused coping strategies. Those who had a higher baseline level of breast cancer knowledge and optimism in coping with challenges in their life were more likely to act as opinion leaders. Implications for research and improving psychosocial interventions for people with health concerns are discussed.
Mask-wearing as an Unspoken Statement of One’s Identity during the COVID-19 Pandemic
Abstract: Interpreting a facemask as an unspoken statement of one’s identity during the COVID-19 pandemic based on product symbolism theory, the present study examines the relationships among one’s trust in […]
Proposal Title: “Improving Infectious Disease Models with Longitudinal Surveys of Health Decision Making Preferences and Influences.”
Abstract: The objective of this project is to create more reliable infectious disease models that are informed by social science regarding health-related preferences, perceptions and intentions/behaviors. This project will design […]