Saturday, January 3, 2015
Health Blogs vs. Health Websites (Research)
The years keep ending and beginning. I have been blogging through the last eight with Hospice and Nursing Homes Blog. Blogging is an interesting, time-consuming, and rewarding service-oriented activity for me. I include news, practices, research, poems, stories, and interviews. Images and videos are used often. I view my blog as an extension of my volunteer commitment to educate others about eldercare and improve lives of older adults in general. Having opportunities to communicate with people all over the world while gaining considerable knowledge myself is a major bonus.
A fascinating personal aspect of blogging is predicting which posts will be most popular. I’ve been surprised many times by the topics readers embrace with enthusiasm. These are my top three posts, each having thousands of page views over the past years: Impact of Death Rattle Sounds on Hospice Workers, Hospice-Palliative Care Doctors and Burnout, and Cremation Process and Storage of Cremains.
Health blogs and websites are persuasive vehicles that many use to impact the thoughts and actions of others. Is one more persuasive than the other? Are personal health blogs more persuasive than institutional health websites? In a study of HIV personal blogs in which people shared their intimate thoughts and experiences with HIV, results determined that a one-time exposure to a personal HIV blog had greater persuasive effects on its readers than an institutional HIV website providing the same content. While the website of an official institution had higher source credibility, blog readers had more positive attitudes and success toward condom use than website readers. The ideal is probably a good combination of both blogs and websites. Whichever you choose, be informed and prepared to educate and assist others.
If you are interested in reading more blogs related to terminal illness and end-of-life care, the Hospice and Palliative Care Community Blog Directory is located at the website of The National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization (NHPCO), the largest nonprofit membership organization representing hospice and palliative care programs and professionals in the United States.
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.