Online discussion groups for bulimia nervosa: An inductive approach to Internet-based communication between patients
Article first published online: 23 APR 2008
Copyright © 2008 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
International Journal of Eating Disorders
Volume 41, Issue 6, pages 527–534, September 2008
How to Cite
Wesemann, D. and Grunwald, M. (2008), Online discussion groups for bulimia nervosa: An inductive approach to Internet-based communication between patients. Int. J. Eat. Disord., 41: 527–534. doi: 10.1002/eat.20542
- Issue published online: 8 AUG 2008
- Article first published online: 23 APR 2008
- Manuscript Accepted: 25 FEB 2008
- Deutsche Forschungsinitiative Eßstörungen e.V., The Faculty of Medicine, University of Leipzig
- eating disorder;
- bulimia nervosa;
- online discussion forum
Online discussion forums are often used by people with eating disorders.
This study analyses 2,072 threads containing a total of 14,903 postings from an unmoderated German “prorecovery” forum for persons suffering from bulimia nervosa (www.ab-server.de) during the period from October 2004 to May 2006. The threads were inductively analyzed for underlying structural types, and the various types found were then analyzed for differences in temporal and quantitative parameters.
Communication in the online discussion forum occurred in three types of thread: (1) problem-oriented threads (78.8% of threads), (2) communication-oriented threads (15.3% of threads), and (3) metacommunication threads (2.6% of threads). Metacommunication threads contained significantly more postings than problem-oriented and communication-oriented threads, and they were viewed significantly more often. Moreover, there are temporal differences between the structural types.
Topics relating to active management of the disorder receive great attention in prorecovery forums. © 2008 by Wiley Periodicals, Inc. Int J Eat Disord 2008