Thoughts on where one might publish a breast cancer blog impact study?

So I’m doing this study on blogs. Rather than looking at the effect blogs have on the writers, I’m looking at the effect blogs have on readers. More specifically, I’m looking at the effect that breast cancer blogs have on those who read breast cancer blogs.

The question I have for you is, who cares? It is clearly a gap in the literature – there are studies in the health sciences about blogging as a form of therapy – but what about the educational effects that blogs have on other people?

I’ve put a survey out on my breast cancer blog (http://bcbecky.com), which also went out on about 6 or 7 other breast cancer blogs. I’ve had great response so far (almost 200 responses) and the survey will be open for a few more days. I expect that there will be some useful information and a few insights from the survey.

The question that I have for you is, where can one look to publish such a study? When you are looking at the effects on the blogger, the study is about some form of treatment that helps the person writing (who is also a cancer patient) in some way. However, when you talk about the readers, the people influenced by the blog have a variety of motivations for reading (elucidating this is one of the study outcomes). In some ways, we can look at blogging as a tool for patient engagement – maybe – so does this study belong in a journal that reports on patient engagement? Or is the study something that is completely in the realm of education? Does it belong in a study about the impacts of educational technology?

If you have any specific thoughts, please share.

1 Comment

  1. Rebecca, this feels like a spread of information topic where advice from experienced patients, plus possibly their availability for responding makes them a more comfortable source. Information from medical experts may seem detached, difficult to understand or too hurried.

    Communication studies – what qualifications do people seek from their information providers?

    Credibility – perception of reliability and how do we “know it” when we see it?

    I look for answers as often in the social media realm as I would through targeted educational sources because I’m looking for tested experience over the more abstracted or neutral voice voice of an academic. Emotional intelligence here? I don’t feel at all engaged with my former care givers. They had no interest in me beyond surface chit-chat and physical data. They certainly did all they could to avoid my emotions and I could have been served better by robots. For me doctors have become nothing more than technicians devoid of any humanity and definitely not to be trusted with my feelings. That said, I still need help coping so it makes sense to turn to blogs. Interesting that technology has seeming removed the human from the caring industry by preferring efficiency and the need to de-complicate people while also supplying relief from being reduced to unimportance by offering us to contact each other.
    Scott

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