Do online support groups influence the well-being of patients with diabetes?



Palabras clave:

Diabetes, Online forums, Media effects, Social influence, Emotional well-being, Self-esteem, Social support, Motivation.


Diabetes is one of the most challenging long-term diseases (LTD) nowadays. Diabetes is associated with dietary restrictions, medical treatments and a strict life style, and has important emotional implications. The aim of this study is to analyze the impact of participating in online support groups (OSG) and participants´ emotional well-being, social support, self-esteem and motivation. An online survey was disseminated in online forums about diabetes, in Spanish (N = 344). Results show that participating in OSGs has a significant influence on the four variables analyzed. However, the direction of this influence depends on participants´ type of diabetes. Participating in OSG is associated with an increase in self-reported social support and motivation for type 2 patients with diabetes, while it is associated with a decrease of both variables for type 1 patients. No differences were observed for emotional well-being and self-esteem. These results have direct implications for both people with type 1 and 2 diabetes and medical professionals in managing online communications more effectively.


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Biografía del autor/a

Noelia Herrero, Universidad Pompeu Fabra

Noelia Herrero es graduada en marketing digital por la Universidad Pompeu Fabra, ha realizado el Máster en buscadores por la misma universidad y cuenta con estudios en nutrición humana y dietética. Su investigación se centra en la comunicación digital en el sector salud. Ha sido docente en varias universidades, cursos y congresos. Asesora en estrategia digital para empresas. Mensista.

Lluí­s Mas-Manchón, Universitat Pompeu Fabra

Lluí­s Mas is Lecturer at the Department of Communication of Pompeu Fabra University. He has a PhD in Audiovisual Communication and Advertising with honors from the Universitat Autí²noma de Barcelona. His main research interests are branding, digital media, political communication, advertising, and physicophysiological measures. He recently gained a scholarship to be a visiting scholar in Texas Tech University.  Lluí­s Mas is the coordinator of CAS research group (UPF).

Frederic Guerrero-Solé, Universitat Pompeu Fabra

Frederic Guerrero-Solé has a bachelor´s in Physics from the University of Barcelona (UB) and a PhD in Public Communication obtained at Universitat Pompeu Fabra (UPF). He has been teaching at the Faculty of Communication at the UPF since 2008, where he is a lecturer in Sociology of Communication. He is a member of the research group Audiovisual Communication Research Unit (Unica).


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Cómo citar

Herrero, N., Mas-Manchón, L., & Guerrero-Solé, F. (2019). Do online support groups influence the well-being of patients with diabetes?. Profesional De La información, 28(2).



Artí­culos de investigación / Research articles