The Role of an Online Community to Support Overweight Adolescents: A Survey of Australian Healthcare Professionals. Research in Progress
Information Resources Management Association, USA
Faculty of Computing, Health and Science
School of Computer and Information Science
In Australia, as in other developed countries, there is au increasing trend of obesity in children and adolescents. Research studies indicate that technology may be a contributing factor to this epidemic and that behavioural change may be a significant solution. One route of inquiry identified as potentially beneficial is that of the development of online communities for children and adolescents to discuss issues such as obesity to contribute to behavioural change. This research outlined in this paper aims to determine if such an online community is feasible and potentially effective to contribute to the changes required. A survey of health professionals will be carried out to ascertain their views of such an initiative. The proposed research consists of two phases: first a survey of Australian health care professionals, in order to determine if an online community could be beneficial to overweight and obese adolescents will be undertaken; and the second phase will design, develop and implement this specialised online community if the initial research shows that it supports the construction of such an online community. This paper will discuss the background to the research and the initial survey phase.