220717 Title: Social support for self-management behaviors among people with epilepsy: A content analysis of the WebEASE program

Monday, November 8, 2010

Elizabeth Reisinger Walker, MAT, MPH , Behavioral Sciences and Health Education, Emory University, Rollins School of Public Health, Atlanta, GA
Yvan Bamps, PhD , Department of Behavioral Sciences and Health Education, Rollins School of Public Health, Emory University, Atlanta, GA
Colleen DiIorio, PhD, RN , Rollins School of Public Health, Department of Behavioral Science and Health Education, Emory University, Atlanta, GA
Social support is an important component in managing chronic conditions such as epilepsy; however there is a dearth of research on the nature of support provided to people with epilepsy (PWE), whom PWE rely on, and the impact on their self-management behaviors. The purpose of this study was to examine who PWE identify as support people and how these individuals can help them with self-management behaviors. Data comes from the pilot and efficacy studies of WebEASE, an internet-based, theory-driven self-management program for PWE focusing on increasing medication adherence, reducing stress, and improving sleep quality. A content analysis was conducted on participant responses to open-ended questions in the program related to social support. Preliminary analysis indicates that the majority of participants provided information about their support providers. The number of support providers ranged from 0 to 6 (mean of 1.5); parents and significant others were most commonly listed. Common themes for ways in which individuals could help PWE include providing emotional and tangible support, encouragement, relaxation, and reminders and aid for taking medicines. A minority of participants indicated that they do not have people whom they can ask for help and several stated that asking for help makes their situation worse or that they do not want to be a bother. Although WebEASE prompts participants to think about support regarding specific behaviors and does not cover the range of situations in which support may be provided, this study contributes to the understanding of social support for self-management behaviors among PWE.

Learning Areas:
Public health or related research
Social and behavioral sciences

Learning Objectives:
1. Describe the link between social support and self-management for people with chronic conditions. 2. Describe three ways a support person can aid a person with epilepsy.

Keywords: Chronic Diseases, Self-Management

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am a research assistant for the WebEASE program (PI: Dr. Colleen DiIorio). This research is relevant for my doctoral dissertation.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.