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 30, 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 30, 2014).

Share This




More Health & Medicine News

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Health Insurers' Profits Slide

Health Insurers' Profits Slide

Reuters - Business Video Online (July 30, 2014) Obamacare-related costs were said to be behind the profit plunge at Wellpoint and Humana, but Wellpoint sees the new exchanges boosting its earnings for the full year. Fred Katayama reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Concern Grows Over Worsening Ebola Crisis

Concern Grows Over Worsening Ebola Crisis

AFP (July 30, 2014) Pan-African airline ASKY has suspended all flights to and from the capitals of Liberia and Sierra Leone amid the worsening Ebola health crisis, which has so far caused 672 deaths in Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone. Duration: 00:43 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
At Least 20 Chikungunya Cases in New Jersey

At Least 20 Chikungunya Cases in New Jersey

AP (July 30, 2014) At least 20 New Jersey residents have tested positive for chikungunya, a mosquito-borne virus that has spread through the Caribbean. (July 30) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Generics Eat Into Pfizer's Sales

Generics Eat Into Pfizer's Sales

Reuters - Business Video Online (July 29, 2014) Pfizer, the world's largest drug maker, cut full-year revenue forecasts because generics could cut into sales of its anti-arthritis drug, Celebrex. Fred Katayama reports. Video provided by Reuters
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