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.

Related Articles


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 February 28, 2015 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 February 28, 2015).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Health & Medicine News

Saturday, February 28, 2015

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Could a $34 Smartphone Device Improve HIV Diagnosis in Africa?

Could a $34 Smartphone Device Improve HIV Diagnosis in Africa?

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Feb. 27, 2015) A dongle that plugs into a Smartphone mimics a lab-based blood test for HIV and syphilis and can detect the diseases in 15 minutes, say researchers. Tara Cleary reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Doctor Says Head Transplants Possible Within Two Years

Doctor Says Head Transplants Possible Within Two Years

Buzz60 (Feb. 27, 2015) An Italian doctor is saying he could stick someone&apos;s head onto someone else&apos;s body. Patrick Jones (@Patrick_E_Jones) reports. Video provided by Buzz60
Powered by NewsLook.com
How Your Dentist Could Help Screen You For Diabetes

How Your Dentist Could Help Screen You For Diabetes

Newsy (Feb. 27, 2015) A new study from researchers at New York University suggests dentists could soon use blood samples taken from patients&apos; mouths to test for diabetes. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
The Best Tips to Makeover Your Health

The Best Tips to Makeover Your Health

Buzz60 (Feb. 27, 2015) If you&apos;re looking to boost your health this season, there are a few quick and easy steps to prompt you for success. Krystin Goodwin (@Krystingoodwin) has the best tips to give your health a makeover this spring! Video provided by Buzz60
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:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

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