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I am an Australian occupational therapist, educator and researcher. I have worked as an OT in mental health, vocational rehabilitation and a private surgical hospital. I am passionate using online technology to enhance the knowledge and growth of the occupational therapy profession. In my PhD research I am looking at the role of online technologies in information management and knowledge transfer in occupational therapy. Views expressed and stories shared on this blog are my opinion and do not represent views of my employer or professional registration body.

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

The important role of online communities: an area for OT development?

One key interest I have is the important role that online communities have in supporting people who are dying. This is a personal and professional interest as I helped my father to become involved in an online support group after being diagnosed with (o)esophageal cancer (EC Cafe).

The role he played in that group was amazing, he became counsellor to others who had the same illness and received suppoprt at the same time. Family members could also participate and through this group my father's life continued to have meaning despite growing frailty. When he died we read messages from his new friends in the virtual world to the people who were his friends in the "real" world.

I've added an article link to this Blog about the role of virtual communities in support and activism. It's entitled ‘‘To me, it’s my life’’: Medical communication, trust, and activism in cyberspace.

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