Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Chronically Ill Teens Turn To Internet For Peer Support, Researchers Report

Date:
May 5, 1999
Source:
Johns Hopkins Medical Institutions
Summary:
A team of medical informatics and child life specialists at the Johns Hopkins Children's Center has met the challenge of providing peer support to seriously ill teenagers with an Internet service, Hopkins Teen Central. Hopkins Teen Central's creators say the service shows potential for wide use in hospitals nationwide.

A team of medical informatics and child life specialists at the Johns Hopkins Children's Center has met the challenge of providing peer support to seriously ill teenagers with an Internet service, Hopkins Teen Central. Hopkins Teen Central's creators say the service shows potential for wide use in hospitals nationwide.

Reporting on the project today at the 1999 Pediatric Academic Societies meeting in San Francisco, one of the Children's Center team said teenagers with such chronic diseases as cystic fibrosis (CF) become socially isolated because of their symptoms or treatments, making it difficult to arrange traditional, in-person support groups to address emotional and social needs.

According to Kevin Johnson, M.D., assistant professor of pediatrics at the Children's Center, Hopkins Teen Central is a virtual support group. The password-protected Web site links adolescent CF patients with one another and Children's Center clinical staff. The site consists of personalized patient profiles, question-and-answer pages, private pages, a group message board and reference information. Children's Center CF patients access the site through their personal computers or through WebTV devices provided by the hospital.

Hopkins Teen Central was developed by Russ Ravert, a child life specialist who focuses on enhancing the emotional and social well-being of Children's Center patients; social worker Andrea Everton; computer programmer George Ciervo; and Johnson, a medical informatics specialist.

The service was launched in September 1997 with 17 Children's Center CF patients. A one-year evaluation showed that each participant used the site an average of six times per month, and 24 percent logged in more than 12 times per month. Although users showed no increased knowledge of CF, or altered perceptions of their care, interactive events, such as scavenger hunts and hospital bingo, increased use of the site, and e-mail was used universally.

More than half of all interactions occurred at the message board, where teens conversed with one another about living with CF and other, more common teen issues. Researchers found a significant increase in the perceptions of the group when asked if they had friends with CF they could relate to, leading them to conclude that an Internet-based program can increase important peer support for children with chronic diseases. The site also helped the teenagers bond with one another in a close support network that will grow increasingly more important as they get sicker, researchers said.

"Many of these teens may have never met another kid with cystic fibrosis," said Ravert, who manages the Web site and monitors messages. "On Hopkins Teen Central, they talk to one another about their common problems as CF patients but also about everyday teen issues."

The teens currently signed on to Hopkins Teen Central are patients at Johns Hopkins Children's Center and live in Maryland, Pennsylvania and Delaware. The Baltimore-based Grant-A-Wish Foundation recently launched the Dreamsurfer Network, bringing the Hopkins Teen Central model to hospitals across the country. Access the Dreamsurfer Network at http://www.dreamsurfer.org.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Johns Hopkins Medical Institutions. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Johns Hopkins Medical Institutions. "Chronically Ill Teens Turn To Internet For Peer Support, Researchers Report." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 5 May 1999. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/1999/05/990505065747.htm>.
Johns Hopkins Medical Institutions. (1999, May 5). Chronically Ill Teens Turn To Internet For Peer Support, Researchers Report. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 22, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/1999/05/990505065747.htm
Johns Hopkins Medical Institutions. "Chronically Ill Teens Turn To Internet For Peer Support, Researchers Report." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/1999/05/990505065747.htm (accessed July 22, 2014).

Share This




More Health & Medicine News

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Gilead's $1000-a-Pill Drug Could Cure Hep C in HIV-Positive People

Gilead's $1000-a-Pill Drug Could Cure Hep C in HIV-Positive People

TheStreet (July 21, 2014) New research shows Gilead Science's drug Sovaldi helps in curing hepatitis C in those who suffer from HIV. In a medical study, the combination of Gilead's Hep C drug with anti-viral drug Ribavirin cured 76% of HIV-positive patients suffering from the most common hepatitis C strain. Hepatitis C and related complications have been a top cause of death in HIV-positive patients. Typical medication used to treat the disease, including interferon proteins, tended to react badly with HIV drugs. However, Sovaldi's %1,000-a-pill price tag could limit the number of patients able to access the treatment. TheStreet's Keris Lahiff reports from New York. Video provided by TheStreet
Powered by NewsLook.com
$23.6 Billion Awarded To Widow In Smoking Lawsuit

$23.6 Billion Awarded To Widow In Smoking Lawsuit

Newsy (July 20, 2014) Cynthia Robinson claims R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Company hid the health and addiction risks of its products, leading to the death of her husband in 1996. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Tooth Plaque Provides Insight Into Diets Of Ancient People

Tooth Plaque Provides Insight Into Diets Of Ancient People

Newsy (July 19, 2014) Research on plaque from ancient teeth shows that our prehistoric ancestor's had a detailed understanding of plants long before developing agriculture. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Contaminated Water Kills 3 Babies in South African Town

Contaminated Water Kills 3 Babies in South African Town

AFP (July 18, 2014) Contaminated water in South Africa's northwestern town of Bloemhof kills three babies and hospitalises over 500 people. The incident highlights growing fears over water safety in South Africa. Duration: 02:22 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins