Magazine article Work & Family Life

Sharp Increase in Illness Support Groups

Magazine article Work & Family Life

Sharp Increase in Illness Support Groups

Article excerpt

An estimated 25 million Americans will join a support group at some time during their lives, according to a study reported in the journal American Psychologist. This number has risen sharply because so many more people are now turning to the Internet for help.

Researchers at the University of Texas at Austin studied online and off-line supportgroup participation for sufferers of 20 major illnesses. Here are some of their findings:

* Most likely (by a wide margin) to seek face-to-face participation in a self-help group were people struggling with alcoholism and with AIDS. Most likely to seek support through the Internet were people with multiple sclerosis followed by those with chronic fatigue syndrome. Individuals battling lung cancer were also more likely to seek support online. …

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