The Role of an Online Community in Supporting Diabetes Self-Management in Thailand

BOONCHUM, Nittaya (2023). The Role of an Online Community in Supporting Diabetes Self-Management in Thailand. Doctoral, Sheffield Hallam University.

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One of the greatest health issues facing the world today is diabetes mellitus (diabetes), and Thailand is no exception. Even though diabetes cannot be cured, those who manage their illness well can have normal lives. To effectively monitor and regulate their blood sugar levels, people with diabetes must spend a significant amount of time working on self-management outside of medical settings. Most patients fail to complete this procedure because it is patient-centred, meaning that patients must complete it primarily on their own. Since questions or problems with their diabetes treatment could arise at any time, they search online for support. In addition to providing users with constant access to information about diabetes self-management, online forums allow users the chance to connect with others, exchange stories, ask questions, and seek assistance. The aim of this thesis is to examine the ways in which people use the online community Pantip to exchange their knowledge and experience as part of the self-management of diabetes and as carers, as part of an overall strategy of managing diabetes, and to explore the cultural context for diabetes self-management in Thailand. The analysis examines 992 individual posts in 177 message threads during a period of 6 months on a message board on Pantip and the interviews with 15 members of the forum. A thematic analysis was conducted to identify major themes related to the diabetes self-management. According to the study, the site helps users with peer support, informational support, and emotional support, particularly when it comes to lifestyle management, which is the self-manager's main area of the problem. Users of Pantip also consider how Thai culture either encourages or discourages self-management. While Thai cuisine can be a barrier to diet control, which may lead people with diabetes to utilize complementary and alternative therapies, Thai family structures promote the adult child's role as a carer in Thailand.Even though Thailand permits the use of both conventional medicine and complementary and alternative medicine (CAM), most patients never discuss their use of CAM with their doctors; they choose to discuss it online. Pantip acts as a resource for individuals, helping them understand why they use it, assisting in rechecking it, and providing advice to caution against latent advertising. For carers, Pantip is a place to learn about the responsibilities of caring for people with diabetes and how to deal with crises or struggles by receiving both informational and emotional support.Overall, the community supports patient-centred approaches that are the cornerstone of diabetes management by sharing experiences that provide insights into how people with diabetes deal with their diseases and how Thai culture affects self-management. Pantip, an online community, can help people with diabetes and their carers practice better self-management, which may improve their health outcome.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Thesis advisor - Doherty, Kathy
Additional Information: Director of studies: Dr. Kathy Doherty
Research Institute, Centre or Group - Does NOT include content added after October 2018: Sheffield Hallam Doctoral Theses
Identification Number:
Depositing User: Colin Knott
Date Deposited: 08 Apr 2024 16:03
Last Modified: 08 Apr 2024 16:15

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