Get Connected has been designed for PARAFORUM users to get to kno

Get Connected has been designed for PARAFORUM users to get to know PLX4032 other users. Impact studies on the value of the different types of interactivity implemented by PARAFORUM will be conducted after the website is launched. However, three main contexts for the potential of PARAFORUM – and of similar web-based systems – for consumers and health organizations can be identified. First, PARAFORUM can be used as an educational resource to support the growth of self-management skills in patients with new SCI and as an instrument for continuation of care in individuals with SCI who are back in the community. Several studies in online health communication have shown that online educational

resources can increase knowledge and literacy through personalized health information, in addition to providing social support through interaction with other users [10], [11], [28], [29], [30] and [31]. Second, by focusing on open communities, PARAFORUM can be used by health organizations to identify ideas from the community for improving existing services tools, aids and devices and inspiring the development of new ones. Open communities are a resource for organizational innovation that, thus far, have only recently started to be exploited in the health sector [32]. Third, PARAFORUM can be used as a platform for

research at different levels. Through learn more content and thematic analyses of what users publish, sections such as My Ideas and the Forum can be analyzed to identify needs and gaps in the resources people have at their disposal to self-manage SCI [33] and [34]. A section like the Research Corner can be used to recruit participants for impact studies on PARAFORUM and its different sections, as well as other types of studies on relevant topics in SCI. Since PARAFORUM is published in four languages and freely available on the internet, the website has the potential to attract large numbers of users who

can engage with researchers, thus favoring the type of community-based participatory research currently promoted as an ideal framework for research [35], [36] and [37]. However, for all this to take place, main challenges must be addressed. For PARAFORUM to be a valuable educational source, the quality of the information has to be guaranteed through Resveratrol an investment in managing and producing content. In addition to guidelines for online health communication (especially in relation to the quality and timeliness of the information provided) [2], the main aspect that content managers of interactive consumer health websites have to monitor is the intersection between content provided by health professionals and content provided by consumers. On the one hand, for the consumer community to express their expertise, top–down approaches from health professionals have to be limited.

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