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Measuring Use of Health-Related Support on the Internet: Development of the Health Online Support Questionnaire (HOSQ)
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Medicine and Pharmacy, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Public Health and Caring Sciences, Lifestyle and rehabilitation in long term illness. Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Medicine and Pharmacy, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Public Health and Caring Sciences, Clinical Psychology in Healthcare.
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Medicine and Pharmacy, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Public Health and Caring Sciences, Clinical Psychology in Healthcare.
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Medicine and Pharmacy, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Public Health and Caring Sciences, Clinical Psychology in Healthcare. Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology.
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Medicine and Pharmacy, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Public Health and Caring Sciences, Clinical Psychology in Healthcare. Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Medicine and Pharmacy, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Immunology, Genetics and Pathology, Experimental and Clinical Oncology.
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2015 (English)In: Journal of Medical Internet Research, ISSN 1438-8871, E-ISSN 1438-8871, Vol. 17, no 11, e266Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Background: Social support plays an important role for the perceived health in people with health problems and chronic diseases.Provision of different kinds of support during the disease trajectory is crucial for many people. Online support is ubiquitous andrepresents a promising modality for people with chronic diseases. There are no existing instruments that measure various aspectsof online support.Objective: The objective of this study was to create a generic questionnaire regarding health-related support online that can beapplied to people with various health problems and illnesses. Additionally, we wanted to test the questionnaire in a cancerpopulation to assess its adequacy in the context of severe disease.Methods: Initial items for the Health Online Support Questionnaire (HOSQ) were inspired by sociologist James House regardingsocial support. An exploratory factor analysis was conducted in healthy persons or with minor health problems (n=243) on 31initial items. The scale was reduced to 18 items and the internal consistency and reliability of the scale was examined along withcontent validity. Further validation was conducted by a confirmatory analysis on the 18-item scale in a cancer population (n=215).In addition, data on demographics, health problems experienced, and Internet use were collected.Results: The exploratory factor analysis on the final 18-item scale resulted in 2 factors. After scrutinizing the content, thesefactors were labeled “reading” and “interacting” and they demonstrated good internal consistency (Cronbach alphas .88 and .77,respectively). The factors were confirmed in the cancer population. The response pattern revealed expected differences bothbetween the interaction and reading scales and according to age, gender, education, and health problems thereby supporting thevalidity of the HOSQ.Conclusions: The HOSQ may be a reliable and valid instrument for measuring the use of online support for people with healthproblems, but the results ought to be replicated in more studies to confirm the results for different diagnoses. If the results of thisstudy are corroborated by future studies, the HOSQ may be used as a basis for the development of different forms of support onthe Internet.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2015. Vol. 17, no 11, e266
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Health Sciences
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URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-267814DOI: 10.2196/jmir.4425ISI: 000366179400020PubMedID: 26589638OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-267814DiVA: diva2:874392
Available from: 2015-11-26 Created: 2015-11-26 Last updated: 2017-12-17Bibliographically approved
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Mattsson, SusanneOlsson, ErikAlfonsson, SvenJohansson, BirgittaCarlsson, Maria
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Lifestyle and rehabilitation in long term illnessClinical Psychology in HealthcareDepartment of PsychologyExperimental and Clinical Oncology
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