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A Comparison of Pro-Anorexia and Treatment Web Sites: A Look at the Health Belief and Stages of Change Models Online

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Abstract:

The purpose of this study was to identify how health educators and eating disorder victims are using the Internet to communicate about anorexia nervosa. A systematically derived sample of 55 pro-anorexia and 71 treatment sites were content analyzed for use of theoretical constructs from the Health Belief and Stages of Change Models. Coders measured benefits of and barriers to recovery, self-efficacy for treatment and anorexia, and individual tailoring. As expected, results showed pro-anorexia sites were more likely to promote self-efficacy for anorexia. However, treatment sites also did so by containing common disease tips such as: fasting, diet drugs, purging, exercise, and hiding. Self-efficacy for treatment was available on both types of sites, but “pro-ana” sites’ discussion of health information was more comprehensive than expected: nearly one-third recommended “nutrition and vitamins,” 15% recommended “psychotherapy,” and 13% recommended “group therapy.” Both types of sites discussed common barriers to recovery, but few sites mentioned psychological barriers, such as “identity loss,” “anger,” “emptiness,” and “vulnerability.” This study demonstrates a model that health educators can use to assess the voices of anorexics on pro-anorexia web sites in order to improve the theoretical design and persuasive content of treatment sites.

Most Common Document Word Stems:

site (223), pro (120), ana (107), pro-ana (104), treatment (96), 0 (83), 1 (80), health (70), anorexia (54), recoveri (52), use (49), web (46), mention (45), chang (40), 5 (38), self (37), benefit (37), 3 (36), barrier (36), 2 (35), 4 (35),

Author's Keywords:

Health education, theory, Internet, pro-anorexia, eating disorders, content analysis
Convention
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Name: International Communication Association
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http://www.icahdq.org


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MLA Citation:

Keller, Sarah., Rosenthal, Lori. and Rosenthal, Paul. "A Comparison of Pro-Anorexia and Treatment Web Sites: A Look at the Health Belief and Stages of Change Models Online" Paper presented at the annual meeting of the International Communication Association, Sheraton New York, New York City, NY, <Not Available>. 2009-05-25 <http://www.allacademic.com/meta/p11691_index.html>

APA Citation:

Keller, S. , Rosenthal, L. and Rosenthal, P. "A Comparison of Pro-Anorexia and Treatment Web Sites: A Look at the Health Belief and Stages of Change Models Online" Paper presented at the annual meeting of the International Communication Association, Sheraton New York, New York City, NY Online <PDF>. 2009-05-25 from http://www.allacademic.com/meta/p11691_index.html

Publication Type: Conference Paper/Unpublished Manuscript
Abstract: The purpose of this study was to identify how health educators and eating disorder victims are using the Internet to communicate about anorexia nervosa. A systematically derived sample of 55 pro-anorexia and 71 treatment sites were content analyzed for use of theoretical constructs from the Health Belief and Stages of Change Models. Coders measured benefits of and barriers to recovery, self-efficacy for treatment and anorexia, and individual tailoring. As expected, results showed pro-anorexia sites were more likely to promote self-efficacy for anorexia. However, treatment sites also did so by containing common disease tips such as: fasting, diet drugs, purging, exercise, and hiding. Self-efficacy for treatment was available on both types of sites, but “pro-ana” sites’ discussion of health information was more comprehensive than expected: nearly one-third recommended “nutrition and vitamins,” 15% recommended “psychotherapy,” and 13% recommended “group therapy.” Both types of sites discussed common barriers to recovery, but few sites mentioned psychological barriers, such as “identity loss,” “anger,” “emptiness,” and “vulnerability.” This study demonstrates a model that health educators can use to assess the voices of anorexics on pro-anorexia web sites in order to improve the theoretical design and persuasive content of treatment sites.

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Document Type: PDF
Page count: 37
Word count: 7182
Text sample:
1 Pro-Ana A comparison of pro-anorexia and treatment Web sites: A look at the Health Belief and Stages of Change Models online 2 Pro-Ana Abstract The purpose of this study was to identify how health educators and eating disorder victims are using the Internet to communicate about anorexia nervosa. A systematically derived sample of 55 pro-anorexia and 71 treatment sites were content analyzed for use of theoretical constructs from the Health Belief and Stages of Change Models. Coders measured
4 1 22 www.phe.queensu.ca/anab/ 8 7 3 0 1 19 www.something-fishy.org/whatarethey/anorexia.php 7 5 5 0 1 18 www.anorexia-nervosa-treatment.com 3 3 6 4 0 16 www.kidsource.com/kidsource/content/disorder.html 5 3 3 5 0 16 www.4woman.gov/faq/anorexia.htm 6 5 4 0 1 16 www.grohol.com/disorders/sx2.htm 1 1 6 4 0 12 37 Pro-Ana


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