Health Blogging and Social Support: A 3-Year Panel Study

David M. Keating, Stephen A. Rains

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

22 Scopus citations


The reported study explored the implications of informal computer-mediated social support for the well-being of individuals coping with illness over the course of 3 years. A panel study was conducted in which respondents - bloggers writing about their experiences living with a health condition - reported on their perceptions of social support and well-being during 2010 and again during 2013. Among respondents who completed both questionnaires (n = 49), increases in support availability from family and friends were related to improvements in bloggers' health self-efficacy as well as improvements in bloggers' loneliness, particularly among those who also experienced increased support availability from blog readers. Increased blog reader support availability was associated with improvements in bloggers' health-related uncertainty. Among respondents who completed the initial questionnaire (N = 121), a survival analysis showed that neither support available from family and friends nor support from blog readers predicted continued health blogging over the 3-year period.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1449-1457
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Health Communication
Issue number12
StatePublished - Dec 2 2015

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health(social science)
  • Communication
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Library and Information Sciences


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