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Please help our research on the use of online health forums


Hi everyone,

My name is Hanmei. I am a researcher at the University of Melbourne in Australia and currently working on a project investigating the use of online health forums. The aim of the study is to verify whether the use of online health forums differs among people with different medical conditions. Drawn from the literature and findings from our previous research, we hypothesise that patients with minor and non-chronic illnesses are more likely to engage in an information-centred strategy while patients with severe and chronic illnesses are more likely to engage in a people-centred strategy. If the hypothesis is supported, the finding from this study can potentially advise the management of online health forums to strategically direct their resource to render more targeting service, based on different types of medical conditions. That is why we need people from a wide range of medical background and HIV/AIDS is one type of conditions that we are looking for.

We are very interested in learning about your opinions and experience. We would like to invite voluntary participants:

- who are patients or care givers,

- have visited POZ forum in the past 7 days,

to complete a 30-minute online survey. Participants will be asked about their perception of the message and the person that they have the best memory of during their most recent visit to the forum(s). All participants who complete the survey will have a chance to win one out of four $50 gift cards of their choice, as our way to say thank you.

This study has been approved by the University of Melbourne Human Research Ethics Committee (#1238574). For more information, please visit To access the survey, please visit

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact me at at

If you know someone who fit into the criteria and would like to participate, please forward the message or the links above.

You can indicate whether you would like to receive a copy of the findings and you will receive an email from us approximately in March or April next year.

Thank you very much for your time and support!

This message has been approved by the Administration of POZ forum.

Warm regards,

Hanmei Fan
PhD Candidate
Department of Computer and Information Systems
University of Melbourne

Thank you to whoever that took time reading and participating in the study. We still need a couple of participants to complete the survey. If you just read the message and you're interested, please help us by visiting I really appreciate your help and support! If you have any questions or feedback, please feel free to let me know.


Hi everyone,

I came back to update the outcome of the research I conducted last November. I finally finished the study and a study summary can be downloaded at If you have any feedback or comment, please feel free to contact me or leave your thought at the commenting area on the website. If you are interested in my research, please stay tune and check out my future studies later. Thank you very much for your generous support!

p.s. For participants who requested a copy of the result, I will email a copy to you very shortly.


Thank you for the update, Hanmei. :)



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