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Narratives of experience of mental health and illness on healthtalk.org

  • Jo Kidd (a1) and Sue Ziebland (a2)
Summary

Online health information is increasingly popular and may bring both benefits and potential harm to users with mental health problems. The encouragement of harmful behaviour among this population is a particular concern. The website healthtalk.org provides the benefits of shared experience by publishing excerpts from rigorous research interviews with patients, contextualised with medical information. This article sets out evidence for the positive and negative effects of online mental health information and describes the methodology behind healthtalk.org, with an overview of the mental health information it provides and how it can benefit patients and health professionals.

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Copyright
This is an open-access article published by the Royal College of Psychiatrists and distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
Corresponding author
Correspondence to Jo Kidd (jo@healthtalk.org)
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Declaration of interest

None.

Footnotes
References
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1 Office for National Statistics. Internet Access – Households and Individuals 2015. Statistical Bulletin (http://www.ons.gov.uk/ons/dcp171778_412758.pdf).
2 Mental Health Foundation. Internet. Mental Health Foundation, n.d. Available at http://www.mentalhealth.org.uk/help-information/mental-health-a-z/I/internet/ (accessed 19 January 2016).
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4 Daine, K, Hawton, K, Singaravelu, V, Stewart, A, Simkin, S, Montgomery, P. The power of the web: a systematic review of studies of the influence of the internet on self-harm and suicide in young people. PLoS ONE 2013; 8: e77555.
5 Mars, B, Heron, J, Biddle, L, Donovan, JL, Holley, R, Piper, M, et al. Exposure to, and searching for, information about suicide and self-harm on the internet: prevalence and predictors in a population based cohort of young adults? J Affect Disord 2015; doi:10.1016/j.jad.2015.06.001.
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7 Ziebland, S, Wyke, S. Health and illness in a connected world: how might sharing experiences on the internet affect people's health? Milb Quart 2012; 90: 219–49.
8 Powell, J, Clarke, A. Information in mental health: qualitative study of mental health service users. Health Expect 2006; 9: 359–65.
9 Pfeiffer, PN, Heisler, M, Piette, JD, Rogers, MAM, Valenstein, M. Efficacy of peer support interventions for depression: a meta-analysis. Gen Hosp Psychiatry 2011; 33: 2936.
10 Nesta, National Voices. Peer Support: What is it and Does it Work? Nesta, 2015.
11 Ali, K, Farrer, L, Gulliver, A, Griffiths, KM. Online peer-to-peer support for young people with mental health problems: a systematic review. JMIR Ment Health 2015; 2: e19.
12 Ziebland, S, McPherson, A. Making sense of qualitative data analysis: an introduction with illustrations from DIPEx (personal experiences of health and illness). Med Edu 2006; 40: 405–14.
13 Herxheimer, A, Ziebland, S. The DIPEx project: collecting personal experiences of illness and health care. In Narrative Research in Health and Illness (eds Hurwitz, B, Greenhalgh, T, Skultans, V): 115–31. Blackwell, 2004.
14 Kidd, J. Pharmacy students learn patient-centred practice with healthtalk.org. healthtalk.org, 28 July 2015. Available at http://www.healthtalk.org/content/pharmacy-students-learn-patient-centred-practice-healthtalkorg (accessed 17 August 2015).
15 Locock, L, Robert, G, Boaz, A, Vougioukalou, S, Shuldham, C, Fielden, J, et al. Testing accelerated experience-based co-design: a qualitative study of using a national archive of patient experience narrative interviews to promote rapid patient-centred service improvement. Health Serv Deliv Res 2014; 2: doi: 10.3310/hsdr02040.
16 National Institute for Health and Care Excellence. Service User Experience in Adult Mental Health Improving the Experience of Care for People using Adult NHS Mental Health Services (CG136). NICE, 2012.
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BJPsych Bulletin
  • ISSN: 2056-4694
  • EISSN: 2056-4708
  • URL: /core/journals/bjpsych-bulletin
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Narratives of experience of mental health and illness on healthtalk.org

  • Jo Kidd (a1) and Sue Ziebland (a2)
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