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Talking together: exploring consumer communities and healthcare

By G. Hogg, A.W. Laing and T.J. Newholm


Involvement in computer mediated communities (CMCs) by consumers of healthcare services is increasing. Based on interviews with consumers and site managers, this paper examines the role of CMCs as providers of consumer information and support. We discuss the subsequent effect on the relationship between ‘informed’ consumers and health care systems. The evolving dialogue between consumers in virtual communities provides one key axis along which professional service consumption will evolve. The challenge for service consumers is to develop frameworks that facilitate robust dialogue and exchange of information and emotional support to complement their rising authority. The parallel challenge is for the established medical profession to recognise the consequences of this evolving dialogue and develop approaches to service delivery that effectively engage with consumers on the basis of this increasing authority

Year: 2004
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Provided by: Enlighten
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