HeartNET: Moving Towards a Transformative Space?
Edith Cowan University
Education and Arts
Communications and Arts, Centre for Research in Entertainment, Arts,Technology, Education and Communications
Cardiovascular disease is now one of the leading causes of death and disability for Australian men and women. HeartNET, an ARC funded collaborative project between the Heart Foundation and Edith Cowan University, provides people affected by cardiovascular disease with a members' only interactive online support network. Interaction may occur on an asynchronous bulletin board or synchronously in the site's chat room facility. Many members Australia wide, and some from overseas, now form a virtual community and support each other through HeartNET. This paper reports on research currently being undertaken into the developing identity of the new cardiovascular patient, the support offered through the HeartNET operationalisation of the gift economy.
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