Inviting men to take part in research regarding the benefits of Online Support Groups

Hello everyone

My name is Richard McLernon, a MSc Health psychology student from the University of Nottingham, and, with approval of the Parkinson’s UK research admin, I am looking to invite male members to take part in a piece of important research.

My research is focused on the empowering effects of online support group membership on men. Empowerment has been identified as a key component of helping people deal with conditions, illnesses and undertaking drastic health behaviour changes, and several studies have identified that online support groups can play an important part in fostering the sense of empowerment.

However, many of these studies have been nearly entirely female based, with male experiences of empowerment in online support groups drastically under researched, especially considering studies have shown that men and women’s help seeking behaviours differ from each other, both face to face and online. This research hopes to start filling in this gap, and create a much better account of empowering processes and the online experience of men in online groups.

Who I am looking for to take part?
Males over the age of 18 and a member of an online support group.

What you would do
The study would involve you undertaking an asynchronous online interview. What this involves is simply being presented with 8 open ended questions about your experiences with online support groups. The questions can be done in your own time and pace, can be answered with as much detail as you like, you will not ask for any specific details of your health, and should take a maximum of 20 minutes to complete.

Benefits of taking part
Data from this study could play a great part in understanding the male experience of online support groups. If any evidence of empowerment is encountered, it can be used to help encourage men, who may not usually seek help or support, to join online support groups.

If you are a male and wish to take part, or are even just curious, please click the following link, which will take you to an information page, where further details will be provided.

This study has been granted ethical approval by the University of Nottingham ethics committee.

If you have any questions, please feel free to email me at [email protected].

Thank you for your time
Richard Mclernon
University of Nottingham