The Effectiveness of Internet Support Groups in the Management of Anxiety
MetadataShow full item record
Publisher:The Ohio State University
Series/Report no.:The Ohio State University. College of Social Work Honors Theses; 2014
Anxiety disorders are among the most common of mental illnesses, affecting 18% of the US population in a given year, yet only about one-third of those afflicted with such disorders will seek professional help. For those that choose to avoid formal mental health services, the internet may prove to be a valuable alternative resource. Along with using the internet to find information regarding mental health, individuals are increasingly utilizing online mental health services such as online counseling and internet support groups (ISGs). Research on the efficacy of online counseling for the treatment of anxiety disorders has been promising, but similar research on ISGs for symptoms of anxiety and anxiety disorders is limited. In the current study, the researcher evaluates the effectiveness of internet support groups in the management of anxiety disorders. Participants from ISG and face-to-face support groups were surveyed online and asked a series of demographical questions as well as questions pertaining to the perceived presence of Yalom’s therapeutic factors. Using descriptive statistics and Kruskal-Wallis ANOVA with an alpha level .05, the researcher found that the groups were statistically similar across several demographic variables as well as regarding the perceived presence of therapeutic factors. Given these analyses, social work professionals should consider referring clients with anxiety to ISGs as a lower-cost and more convenient adjunct or alternative to f2f support groups.
Academic Major: Social Work