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No Local Investigator

Narratives of health and illness for www.healthtalkonline.org (formerly DIPEx) and www.youthhealthtalk.org

The aim of the research programme is to improve understanding of people’s experiences of health and illness and provide online resources for people living with a wide variety of health conditions, their families, friends and the health professionals involved in their care.
Healthtalkonline (HTO) and Youththealthtalk (YHT) are growing resources which currently cover 75 health conditions. The sites are based on qualitative interviews and features an analysis of the 25 most important issues identified in the interviews and around 250 video, audio and written interview clips.
HTO and YHT are not ‘just’ health information web pages, nor are they a patients’ chat-room, nor one of the many health websites that now have an area for patients’ experiences: instead each site is based on a rigorous qualitative research study of people’s first-hand experiences. HTO studies may therefore be taken as a real indication of what it is like to experience health and illness, and allows access to real-life experiences (via the websites) to anyone whose life is touched by these issues.
Interviews collected within the programme will be used in a variety of ways: for academic dissemination in peer-reviewed journal articles and conference presentations; for secondary analysis by academic researchers; to develop information for patients (eg DVDs, on NHS Choices, NICE and other approved websites); to develop training packages for professionals in collaboration with, for example, universities, trusts and Royal Colleges ; and to contribute to the award-winning websites at www.healthtalkonline.org (formerly DIPEx)and www.youthhealthtalk.org.
As part of an evaluation programme a selection of sites will be reviewed prelaunch to ensure that the site reflects people’s experiences of each condition covered. Health professionals will also be invited to comment on the proposed content of the sites to ensure that they address the issues that are relevant to the consultation.