Saturday, February 1, 2014
Why Blog About Terminally Ill Relatives? (Cancer Research, Alzheimer’s)
The Internet has become a major outlet for communicating intimate personal experiences regarding illness. Communication includes not only patients dealing with their own challenges, but also loved ones who want to share their involvement and feelings about their journey with patients. Why are people compelled to inform others all over the world about these terminal illness experiences? A research analysis with bloggers was done during and after illness of family members who died of cancer. These are findings resulting from those telephone interviews:
1) Blogging introduced relatives to new friends with similar experiences.
2) Communicating through blogging helped relatives during their grief process.
3) Recording their written stories through blogging helped relatives preserve memories.
4) Writing about illness experiences had negative aspects when bloggers were misunderstood, publicly criticized, and when they felt that they were giving their reading audiences “reality show" entertainment.
Generally, blogging was viewed as a complement to professional healthcare and a way to prevent ill health.
Our Long Goodbye is a blog recording a family’s experiences with Alzheimer’s disease. Blogger Patti, who blogged for several months until her mother died, says her purpose for starting the blog was “to chronicle my experiences with my 82-year-old mother’s late-stage Alzheimer’s.” Although her mother is deceased, Patti's blog is still available for the world to read.
Health care blogs like mine and health care websites can be persuasive. They are used by many to impact the thoughts and actions of others. Is one more persuasive than the other? Here’s what the research says: https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/health-blogs-vs-websites-frances-shani-parker?trk=mp-reader-card
Frances Shani Parker, Author
Becoming Dead Right: A Hospice Volunteer in Urban Nursing Homes is available in paperback and e-book editions in America and other countries at online and offline booksellers.