An Online Participatory Observation: The Online Depression Community's Discussion on Depression Treatment
Keywords:health communication, depression, science communication, depression community, online participation observation
This article uses the online participatory observation method to analyze more than 2,000 posts of the "Sunshine Project Psychological Mutual Assistance Forum" in Mainland China. The research observed the discussion of depression in the online patient community in anonymous forums, including the popularization of medical knowledge about diseases, self-disclosure of patient diagnosis and treatment experience, patient interaction, and patient discussions on controversial issues and rumors of the disease. The results of the study show that the online community of depression patients is both a "web of information" and a "web of mutual help." The patient's health information acquisition mode has changed from vertical reception to horizontal interconnection, which not only enhances patients' scientific understanding of the disease but also allows them to increase their sense of psychological security in their interpersonal interactions. In this new type of risk communication mode, how to establish a new fact-checking mechanism and establish ordinary people's trust in scientific and medical knowledge is a new challenge.
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