Online communities are increasingly becoming part of the healthcare ecosystem, as they allow patients, family members and carers to connect and support each other at any time and from any location. This support can take many forms, including information, advice, esteem support and solidarity. Prior research has identified the Attraction-Selection-Attrition Theory as a promising framework for modelling and explaining how participants join, participate, and leave organizations in general (and online communities specifically), and how the actions of individuals effect the organization as a whole. However, it has not previously been applied specifically to online health communities (i.e. those that focus on physical and/or mental health). We propose to gather empirical evidence from a large online community that provides support for Australians effected by cancer. In doing so, we hope to develop evidence-based policies and procedures for growing, maintaining and moderating these communities.
Abedin, Babak; Erfani, Shadi; Milne, David; Beattie, Annette; and Fenerty, Kate, "Unpacking Support Types in Online Health Communities: An Application of Attraction-Selection-Attrition Theory" (2019). PACIS 2019 Proceedings. 201.