Shielded from the real world: perspectives on Internet cancer support groups by Asian Americans.
Despite positive reports about Internet cancer support groups (ICSGs), ethnic minorities, including Asian Americans, have been reported to be less likely to use ICSGs. Unique cultural values, beliefs, and attitudes have been considered reasons for the low usage rate of ICSGs among Asian Americans. However, studies have rarely looked at this issue.The purpose of this study was to explore (a) how Asian Americans living with cancer who participated in ICSGs viewed ICSGs, (b) what facilitated or inhibited their participation in ICSGs, and (c) what cultural values and beliefs influenced their participation in ICSGs.The study was a 1-month qualitative online forum among 18 Asian American cancer patients recruited through a convenience sampling method. Nine topics on the use of ICSGs organized the forum discussion, and the data were analyzed using thematic analysis.Four themes emerged from the data analysis process: (a) "more than just my family," (b) "part of my family," (c) "anonymous me," and (d) "shielded from the real world."The overarching theme was Asian Americans' marginalized experience in the use of ICSGs.Offering the most current information on cancer and cancer treatment is essential for nursing practice in developing a culturally competent ICSG for Asian Americans. Also, emotional familiarity should be incorporated into the design of the ICSG, and the ICSG needs to be based on nonjudgmental and nondiscriminative interactions.
Volume / Issue
Start / End Page
Pubmed Central ID
Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)
International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)