Individuals with an asbestos-related diagnosis and their carers face burdens including debilitating and life-limiting physical symptoms and medico-legal stressors. Feelings of social isolation are common. Increasing social connectedness can lead to increased feelings of personal empowerment and may inhibit chronic stress responses. The authors report on the development, via a process of participatory action research, of an online peer-to-peer support group, and the first 30-day test phase of this virtual community. Initial indications are that individuals with an asbestos-related diagnosis and their carers can benefit, in psychosocial terms, from membership of an on-line support group comprised of experientially similar others.
Kozlowski, D, Provost, S, Tucker, J & van der Zwan, R 2014, 'Dusted community: piloting a virtual peer-to-peer support community for people with an asbestos-related diagnosis and their families', The Journal of Psychosocial Oncology, vol. 32, no. 4, pp. 463-475.