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MANUSCRIPT: As Facts and Chats Go Online, What Is Important for Adolescents with Type 1 Diabetes?

BACKGROUND:
Continued refinement of resources for patient information, education and support is needed. Considering the rapid development of new communication practices, the perspectives of young people themselves warrant more attention using a wide research focus. The purpose of this study was to understand information-seeking behaviours, Internet use and social networking online in adolescents with type 1 diabetes (T1DM). This applied to their everyday life, including the context of diabetes and their experiences and need of contact with T1DM peers.
METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS:
Twenty-four adolescents aged 10-17 years with T1DM were recruited from a county hospital in the south-east of Sweden. Qualitative data were obtained using eight focus groups, wherein each participant engaged in a 60-90 minute video/audio-recorded session. The focus group data were transcribed and analysed using qualitative content analysis. Some demographic and medical information was also collected. The three main categories that were identified; Aspects of Security, Updating, and Plainness and their sub-categories gave significant information about how to enhance information retrieval and peer contacts related to T1DM. Regarding the persons’ information-seeking behaviour, Internet use, and use of social media some differences could be identified depending on gender and age.
CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE:
Sensitivity and adaptation to users’ needs and expectations seem crucial in the development of future online resources for adolescents with T1DM. To start with, this could mean applying a wider range of already existing information and communication technologies. Health practitioners need to focus on the areas of security of information and communication, frequency of updating, and simplicity of design-less is more.

via As Facts and Chats Go Online, What Is Important for… [PLoS One. 2013] – PubMed – NCBI.

Brian S McGowan, PhD

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Brian is a research scientist and educational technologist. He helped transform Pfizer’s Medical Education Group and previously served in educational leadership roles at HealthAnswers, Inc.; Acumentis, LLC.; Cephalon; and Wyeth. He taught graduate medical education programs at Arcadia University for 10 years. Dr. McGowan recently authored the book "#socialQI: Simple Solutions for Improving Your Healthcare" and has been invited to speak internationally on the subject of information flow, technology, and learning in healthcare.

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