Self-help groups have offered for a long time the company and information for people facing diseases or disabilities, and online groups have expanded to offer support to individuals from the various circumstances of life, especially those related to personal and cultural relations. Various online formats have allowed the development of both groups, where individuals can exchange messages in real time, where the members that are not necessarily connected simultaneously to a network can read and exchange messages.E-mail, social networks, forums of communication methods to help the auto-peer-to-peer groups and between support groups. A researcher from University College London said that the lack of qualitative directories, and the fact that many support groups are not listed in search engines may hinder the search for an appropriate group.Even so, he says that the medical community needs to understand the use of personal experiences rather than an evidence-based approach These groups also have an impact on how people use information that can help people to learn how to find and use information:. for example, users of Web sites of Exchange and discussion Web sites. It is not difficult to find an online support group, but it is difficult to find a good one.The article what to look for in groups of quality support online, John M. Grohol gives tips for evaluating groups in line and says:.? In good online support groups, members of stay long once they have received the support they were looking for fall because they want to give to others what they themselves are in the group. psychologists call this the high group cohesion, and it is the pinnacle of the achievements of the group.
Several studies have shown the importance of the Internet in the provision of social support, in particular to groups with chronic health problems. Especially in the case of rare diseases, a sense of community and understanding despite the large geographical distances can be important, as well as for the exchange of knowledge, self-help groups, online communities for those affected by a common problem, give mutual support and provide information, often two inseparable aspects.These are, according to Henry Potts, of the University College of London, a great resource for patients.Numerous studies have examined the content of the messages, whereas what matters is the effect of participation in the group over the individual.Potts complains that research on these groups has fallen behind, especially in the groups that are created by people with problems, rather than by researchers and health professionals.Self-help groups defined by the user can share the kind of practical knowledge that healthcare professionals can be ignored, and which also influence how people find, interpret and use information. Marc D. Feldman of the University of Alabama in Birmingham, has warned about the sympathy of asylum that they invade Internet self-help groups.