Utilising Computer-Mediated Communication and the Internet in Health Research

  • Nikki Kiyimba
  • Jessica Nina Lester
  • Michelle O’Reilly


In the modern world, there is a growing reliance of computer-mediated communication and social media sources. In this chapter, we illustrate the value of Internet sources, such as discussion forums, and social media, such as Facebook, for the study of health-related issues. Additionally, some email conversations, text messages, and instant message conversations can be classed as naturally occurring. The practical benefits and the challenges of using this kind of data for health research are critically discussed, along with some additional ethical dimensions that this kind of data raise.


Social media Computer-mediated communication Email Instant messenger E-counselling 


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Nikki Kiyimba
    • 1
  • Jessica Nina Lester
    • 2
  • Michelle O’Reilly
    • 3
  1. 1.Department of Social and Political ScienceUniversity of ChesterChesterUK
  2. 2.School of EducationIndiana UniversityBloomingtonUSA
  3. 3.The Greenwood Institute of Child HealthUniversity of LeicesterLeicesterUK

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