A FOCUS ON EVERY DAY LIFE: INTERNET-BASED SUPPORT AND COACHING FOR YOUNG ADULTS WITH NEUROPSYCHIATRIC DISORDERS - A CHAT LOG ANALYSIS
Background Few studies conducting qualitative research regarding treatment, daily living, and need of support for young adults with neuropsychiatric disorders such as ADHD, autism spectrum conditions, and Tourette’s disorder have been published. The objective of this study is to describe how young adults with neuropsychiatric disorders function and manage their everyday life based on chat log analysis.
Methods This study is part of a larger intervention project, NP Young Coaching, a structured internet-based support and coaching program for young adults with neuropsychiatric disorders. Twelve young adults between age 15 and 25 years were included in the study. They received coaching during eight weeks over the internet (chat and e-mail) twice a week. The texts composed in the chat sessions constituted the data for the analysis, and the 12 chat logs consisted of 445 pages. Qualitative content analysis was conducted in NVivo 9. The text was divided into meaning units. All the meaning units were labelled with codes which were compared regarding differences and similarities, and thereafter sorted into subthemes and themes.
Results Two themes became visible: ‘ways of functioning in everyday life’ with the subthemes; ‘difficult things’, ‘stress and rest’ and ‘when feelings and thoughts are a concern’, and the theme ‘ways of managing everyday life’ with the subthemes; ‘decide and carry out’ and ‘making choices for life’. The young adults described their ways of functioning which showed that they were dealing with difficult things such as being treated unfairly, feeling offended by teachers and peers and being undeservedly accused for behaving egoistically. They also experienced hard words from teasing siblings, friends and parents, which was a source of sorrow.
The young adults described that their feelings of stress were caused by being too busy and feeling too unfocused in social situations. Tiredness was the starting point of feeling stressed and led to guilt for not getting things done. The young adults were drained of energy and had serious sleeping problems. Feelings and thoughts were a concern when they were dissatisfied with their bodies, felt obsessive, and felt anxious. Feelings of discomfort were described as a consequence of losing control in personal emotional downturns. Ways of managing everyday life included decisions to plan and following those plans. To enable that, control was important as well as time management. The young adults made choices for life and wanted to succeed. They had high expectations of themselves, and strove for high scores and described distinct ideas about what would be their future profession.
Conclusions This study led to a more in-depth knowledge about these young adults’ everyday lives through support and coaching over the Internet, and showed their ability to use the chat for expressing what every-day life meant to them. The implications of the findings are that by using e-coaching for this population, new opportunities are available for health care professionals to acknowledge these young adults’ problems, and online coaching could facilitate the contact between the young adult and the medical and healthcare service.
2011. 27-28 p.
IV. World Congress on Social Media and Web 2.0 in Medicine, Health and Biomedical research. Medicine 2.0 at Stanford university