University of Twente Student Theses


Online lotgenotencontact : de betekenis van het forum op

Hunger, P. (2009) Online lotgenotencontact : de betekenis van het forum op

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Abstract:Objective: Face-to-face treatments for problematic alcohol consumption are seldom used despite the high prevalence of problem drinkers. Online interventions, such as, are able to reach more problem drinkers. The online community on has a surprising high number of users who express positive feelings toward the community. This research investigates what this community means to the users, by whom and how much it is used, and how its design can be improved. Methods: The research questions will be examined by the use of a ‘mixed methods’ design with a questionnaire among the community members and a content analysis of the messages posted on the community. Results: The users were female, between 40 and 50 years old, often unemployed with a high educational level and a low income. They also had problematic alcohol use, followed a treatment for problematic alcohol consumption, were able to speak with their social environment about their problems and followed the online treatment on Members of the community made use of the community for a long period and used it very actively. Most users visited the community to find information about alcohol problems and kept visiting for social reasons. Empowering processes such as sharing information and sharing personal experiences were seldom found on the community. Found dis-empowering processes were negative language, community addiction and a too strong group of members where new members had difficulties to step in. Users felt better informed and had more control over their problems. They were satisfied with the online community but gave some suggestions for improvement nevertheless. Conclusion: The online community reaches a small of group problem drinkers who do not participate in any other form of treatment for problematic alcohol use. For them the online community could be an alternative for other interventions. Use of the community leads to empowerment so that it can be recommended to people with problematic alcohol use. Suggestions for the improvement of the design of the community are discussed within this study
Item Type:Essay (Master)
Faculty:BMS: Behavioural, Management and Social Sciences
Subject:77 psychology
Programme:Psychology MSc (66604)
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