This is probably the most succinctly I have ever written. 246 words and I have the abstract of my research. All I need to do now is finish off my chapter 6 with the limitations of my research and the suggested further research – then editing/formatting. 😀
As many as one in five Australians will suffer Chronic Pain in their life time; it is the fourth most prevalent health issue in Australia and has the single biggest societal impact. This thesis investigates the impact social media has in the practice of effective self-management of Chronic Pain, focusing on informal closed support groups on Facebook.
Numerous studies in clinical populations of Chronic Pain sufferers have consistently shown that support provided by Chronic Pain community groups produce better outcomes for people living with Chronic Pain and their families. Not everyone with Chronic Pain will want to, or be able to attend a face to face support group so it is important to consider social networking options online as they are more flexible.
Through analysis of a closed Chronic Pain Facebook support group and extensive survey of group members, this research has indicated a positive shift of the perceived well-being of people living with Chronic Pain and their families. After becoming members of informal closed support groups on Facebook, respondents felt that they had a safe place to speak about their conditions with other people who understood their struggles.
These findings are significant as they support the positive role that social media plays in the self-management of Chronic Pain and the creation of online communities. They also help to give insight into the struggles that many people face when living with Chronic Pain and identify the motivations for the exchange of social support using social media.