I am a graduate student at the University of West Florida's Department of Communication Arts and would like to invite you to participate in a research study focusing on computer-mediated communication and chemotherapy. This study will assess the communication patterns involved in support group participation by gathering data through a private Facebook group, Chemo Chat. You may participate if you are currently undergoing chemotherapy. Please do not participate if you are no longer undergoing chemotherapy.
As a participant, you will be asked to communicate within the Facebook group, Chemo Chat. By reading the communication on the wall within this group, I can establish to what extent the group might affect patient-to-patient interactions. You are encouraged to log on and communicate with other group members at least once per week and are not limited to any particular subject while communicating.
Using Chemo Chat as a Facebook community is the least costly method of research within the chemotherapy community, and allows me to quickly assess conversations and retrieve data. It also provides me the opportunity to add a level of confidentiality by keeping the group closed, or private. This means that the only users who can view any of the group content are the Chemo Chat members.
When reviewing the posts of other group members, you may not feel comfortable discussing personal health information. To minimize this risk and ensure confidentiality, Chemo Chat has been designed as an invitation-only, or closed group, which means that only the administrator, Emily Garber, and all other invited group members can view the posts. All other Chemo Chat group members are current chemotherapy patients. After the Chemo Chat research project is completed on April 1, 2013, the administrator, Emily Garber, will keep the group on Facebook but will no longer be collecting data from the posts. The data gathered for this capstone project will be used for a final project presentation to the graduate faculty and graduate students of the University of West Florida's Department of Communication Arts in April.