June 2, 2009
by Lisa Neal Gualtieri, PhD, Adjunct Clinical Professor, Tufts University School of Medicine
With 74% of Americans online and 80-84% of online American using the Web for health information (Pew Internet and American Life and Harris Polls), many pain sufferers are online. But far more people “lurk” than participate actively in health Web sites. Hence I was interested in a blog post that included a slide from Josh Bernoff of Forrester Research from HealthCamp Boston, which shows that people with chronic pain conditions are in the “misery loves company” quadrant and may be “most likely to benefit from and to participate in online social networks”.
What are the implications of this for the design of health Web sites? And can pain itself ever be an impediment to full participation?