Enhancing Wellness: HeartNET an Online Interactive Community Supporting People with Cardiovascular Disease
Edith Cowan University
Faculty of Education and Arts
School of Communications and Arts / Centre for Research in Entertainment, Arts, Technology, Education and Communications
Australian Research Council
ARC Number : LP0775520
Cardiovascular disease remains one of the leading causes of death and long term disability in the Australian population. Following a cardiovascular event an individual may be uncertain about their emotional wellness as well as their physical heath and long term future. Support in any form for people experiencing cardiovascular disease is important. While medical treatment is crucial, some people look for additional forms of support, especially from others who have experienced a similar situation, who can give encouragement, reassurance and insight into their own experiences. Some will seek support from friends and family while others will seek health information and support via the Internet and World Wide Web. The HeartNET website harnesses the Internet and World Wide Web to provide patients and their carers with an opportunity to connect with others. People who communicate via HeartNET often have relevant knowledge and experience, and find they have much in common in their search for wellness, even though the parties are separated both geographically and physically. HeartNET is an ARC‐Linkage project between the National Heart Foundation (WA division) and Edith Cowan University. The paper discusses the value of this interactive online support service to the Australia‐wide (and in some cases, international) community of people living with cardiovascular disease.