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Young people’s views on sharing health-related stories on the Internet

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There is an increasing interest in the use of stories in healthcare practice and education. However, there are few stories from young people concerning health and little is known about their views on sharing such stories on the Internet. The aim of this study was to explore young people’s perspectives in this area. A qualitative method was used and a project website was purposely built to facilitate data collection. An online focus group with 13 young people was carried out in an asynchronous format. Participants valued highly the therapeutic effect of storytelling and the use of digital stories to share feelings and experiences with a wide range of audiences, suggesting that well-produced stories could be a useful learning resource. A number of concerns were also raised, including embarrassment, reaction of other people and online safety. Having stories available on the Internet can be beneficial; however, concerns especially about safety associated with Internet use and support for storytellers should be taken into consideration. A better understanding of young people’s perceptions can provide valuable insights for future work with this age group on storytelling.

Keywords: attitudes; health; online research; qualitative research; storytelling; young people

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1365-2524.2010.00987.x

Publication date: May 1, 2011

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