A meta-analysis of research on formal computer-mediated support groups: Examining group characteristics and health outcomes

Stephen A. Rains, Valerie Young

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

135 Scopus citations

Abstract

This article reports a meta-analysis of 28 studies examining the health-related outcomes associated with participation in a formal computer-mediated support group (CMSG) intervention. In particular, health outcomes related to social support were assessed and four group-level characteristics of CMSGs were tested as potential moderators of intervention effectiveness. The results show that participating in a CMSG intervention - comprised of educational and group communication components - led to increased social support, decreased depression, increased quality of life, and increased self-efficacy to manage one's health condition. Changes in health outcomes were moderated by group size, the nature of the communication channels available, and the duration of the CMSG intervention.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)309-336
Number of pages28
JournalHuman Communication Research
Volume35
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Jul 1 2009

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Communication
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Anthropology
  • Linguistics and Language

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