The Neuroepidemiology Unit (NEU) at the University of Melbourne continues to publish important research into the various aspects of the Overcoming Multiple Sclerosis 7-Step Recovery Program. The latest offering, published in the journal Informatics for Health and Social Care, describes the increase in traffic to the OMS Forum over around 7 years from 2010 to 2017.
In particular, the research group led by Jodi O’Donnell, a graduate student in Applied Public Health at the Australian Catholic University, undertook detailed analysis of the posts within the Meditation section of the Forum. They found that there were 166 meditation topics posted with 21,530 initial views of the primary post, and a total for meditation posts and sub-posts of 368,713 replies! Views of the Meditation section increased dramatically from a little under 5,000 in 2011 to over 80,000 in 2017, a considerably greater rate of increase than that in overall traffic to the website.
Analysis of comments posted revealed that the forum was providing a very important peer-to-peer support function for people on the OMS Program, in co-production with the OMS organisation. The paper concluded by saying that the OMS Forum ‘demonstrably serves important encouragement, education and enablement functions for a growing online community of people affected by MS’.
It is important that people on the path to recovering their health after a diagnosis of MS have such a supportive online environment in which they can interact, share their concerns and feelings, and receive assistance from the many others on a similar path. Publishing this kind of research in a major medical journal is vital, so that this service is brought to the attention of clinicians practicing in this area, and can be offered to their patients.
Read the full paper here:
Find out more about how we are creating connections online with the OMS community.