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Please help our research on the use of online health forums

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  • Please help our research on the use of online health forums

    Hi everyone,

    My name is Hanmei. I am a researcher at the University of Melbourne in Australia and currently working on a project investigating the use of online health forums. The aim of the study is to verify whether the use of online health forums differs among people with different medical conditions. Drawn from the literature and findings from our previous research, we hypothesise that patients with minor and non-chronic illnesses are more likely to engage in an information-centred strategy while patients with severe and chronic illnesses are more likely to engage in a people-centred strategy. If the hypothesis is supported, the finding from this study can potentially advise the management of online health forums to strategically direct their resource to render more targeting service, based on different types of medical conditions. That is why we need people from a wide range of medical background and multiple sclerosis is one type of conditions that we are looking for.

    We are very interested in learning about your opinions and experience. We would like to invite voluntary participants:

    - who are patients or care givers,

    - have visited Active MSers forum in the past 7 days,

    to complete a 30-minute online survey. Participants will be asked about their perception of the message and the person that they have the best memory of during their most recent visit to the forum(s). All participants who complete the survey will have a chance to win one out of four $50 gift cards of their choice (as long as I can purchase online), as our way to say thank you.

    This study has been approved by the University of Melbourne Human Research Ethics Committee (#1238574). For more information, please visit . To access the survey, please visit

    If you have any questions, please feel free to contact me at at

    If you know someone who fit into the criteria and would like to participate, please forward the message or the links above.

    You can indicate whether you would like to receive a copy of the findings and you will receive an email from us approximately in March or April next year.

    Thank you very much for your time and support!

    This message has been approved by the Administration (David) of Active MSers forum.

    Warm regards,

    Hanmei Fan
    PhD Candidate
    Department of Computer and Information Systems
    University of Melbourne

  • #2
    Thanks Hanmei. I hope you get more than a few of our forum readers to complete your survey.

    Readers, if you are a regular visitor to our forum--even if you've never posted--please consider taking part in this study.
    Dave Bexfield


    • #3
      Please note that Hanmei needs input no later than mid December, preferably earlier. Best of all this is one of those studies that is pain free, risk free, and you are guaranteed not to be on the control arm. Thanks again, folks!
      Dave Bexfield


      • #4
        Thank you Dave very much for your generous support! Also, I'd like to thank everyone who has completed the survey. At the moment, we still need a couple of participants. If you just read this invitation and are interested, please visit

        Many thanks!



        • #5
          Update: the study is done and thanks to everyone

          Hi everyone,

          I came back to update the outcome of the research I conducted last November. I finally finished the study and a study summary can be downloaded at If you have any feedback or comment, please feel free to contact me or leave your thought at the commenting area on the website. If you are interested in my research, please stay tune and check out my future studies later. Thank you very much for your generous support!

          p.s. For participants who requested a copy of the result, I will email a copy to you very shortly.