Social interaction in type 2 diabetes computer-mediated environments: How inherent features of the channels influence peer-to-peer interaction.
Interventions via the internet provide support to individuals managing chronic illness. The purpose of this integrative review was to determine how the features of a computer-mediated environment influence social interactions among individuals with type 2 diabetes.
Methods and design
A combination of MeSH and keyword terms, based on the cognates of three broad groupings: social interaction, computer-mediated environments, and chronic illness, was used to search the PubMed, PsychInfo, Sociology Research Database, and Cumulative Index to Nursing and Allied Health Literature databases. Eleven articles met the inclusion criteria.
Computer-mediated environments enhance an individual's ability to interact with peers while increasing the convenience of obtaining personalized support. A matrix, focused on social interaction among peers, identified themes across all articles, and five characteristics emerged: (1) the presence of synchronous and asynchronous communication, (2) the ability to connect with similar peers, (3) the presence or absence of a moderator, (4) personalization of feedback regarding individual progress and self-management, and (5) the ability of individuals to maintain choice during participation.
Individuals interact with peers to obtain relevant, situation-specific information and knowledge about managing their own care. Computer-mediated environments facilitate the ability of individuals to exchange this information despite temporal or geographical barriers that may be present, thus improving T2D self-management.
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