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An online support group for problem drinkers: AlcoholHelpCenter.net

Cunningham, John; van Mierlo, Trevor; Fournier, Rachel

Description

Objective: Social support networks have been identified as one factor that can help people resolve their problem drinking. A relatively new phenomenon is online support groups, such as the one provided on the Alcohol Help Center (AHC; http://www.alcoholhelpcenter.net). Preliminary use of the AHC support group will be summarized and lessons learned in the initial development of an online support group will be discussed. Methods: The AHC support group can be viewed by anyone interested in its...[Show more]

dc.contributor.authorCunningham, John
dc.contributor.authorvan Mierlo, Trevor
dc.contributor.authorFournier, Rachel
dc.date.accessioned2015-12-10T23:24:02Z
dc.date.available2015-12-10T23:24:02Z
dc.identifier.issn0738-3991
dc.identifier.urihttp://hdl.handle.net/1885/67063
dc.description.abstractObjective: Social support networks have been identified as one factor that can help people resolve their problem drinking. A relatively new phenomenon is online support groups, such as the one provided on the Alcohol Help Center (AHC; http://www.alcoholhelpcenter.net). Preliminary use of the AHC support group will be summarized and lessons learned in the initial development of an online support group will be discussed. Methods: The AHC support group can be viewed by anyone interested in its content. However, only registered users of the AHC can make postings and trained professional staff moderates all support group content. The amount and content of traffic on this support group were recorded. Qualitative analyses were conducted to identify the types of message content. Results: There were 674 posts on the AHC during the first 10 months of operation, including those made by the professional moderators. Content analyses of these postings identified common themes, including introductions, greetings, general supportive statements, suggested strategies, success stories, and discussion of difficulties. In addition, it appeared that the amount of traffic on the support group varied over time and clustered around nodes that consisted of one or more active users. This variation in traffic may disappear over time as overall use of the AHC support group increases. Conclusions: Online support groups are developing into a new venue of support for those with drinking problems and other addictions concerns. Practice implications: Consider referring clients to an online, professionally moderated, support group as another means to help problem drinkers.
dc.publisherElsevier
dc.sourcePatient Education and Counseling
dc.subjectKeywords: alcohol consumption; article; content analysis; Internet; online system; priority journal; qualitative analysis; social support; support group; Adaptation, Psychological; Adult; Alcoholism; Attitude to Health; Confidentiality; Empathy; Female; Health Serv Alcohol; Internet; Support groups
dc.titleAn online support group for problem drinkers: AlcoholHelpCenter.net
dc.typeJournal article
local.description.notesImported from ARIES
local.identifier.citationvolume70
dc.date.issued2008
local.identifier.absfor111714 - Mental Health
local.identifier.absfor111711 - Health Information Systems (incl. Surveillance)
local.identifier.ariespublicationU3488905xPUB1390
local.type.statusPublished Version
local.contributor.affiliationCunningham, John, College of Medicine, Biology and Environment, ANU
local.contributor.affiliationvan Mierlo, Trevor, Evolution Health Systems Inc., Toronto
local.contributor.affiliationFournier, Rachel, V-CC Systems Inc.
local.bibliographicCitation.issue2
local.bibliographicCitation.startpage193
local.bibliographicCitation.lastpage198
local.identifier.doi10.1016/j.pec.2007.10.003
local.identifier.absseo920410 - Mental Health
local.identifier.absseo920209 - Mental Health Services
dc.date.updated2015-12-10T10:43:37Z
local.identifier.scopusID2-s2.0-37849016560
CollectionsANU Research Publications

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