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Online Peer Support Groups for Behavior Change: Moderation Requirements

Online Peer Support Groups for Behavior Change: Moderation Requirements
Online Peer Support Groups for Behavior Change: Moderation Requirements

Technology-assisted behaviour awareness and change is on the rise. Examples include apps and sites for fitness, healthy eating, mental health and smoking cessation. These information systems recreated principles of influence and persuasion in a digital form allowing real-time observation, interactivity and intervention. Peer support groups are one of the behavioural influence techniques which showed various benefits, including hope installation and relapse prevention. However, unmoderated groups may become a vehicle for comparisons and unmanaged interactions leading to digression, normalising the negative behaviour and lowering self-esteem. A typical requirement of such groups is to be of a social and supportive nature whereas moderation, through humans or artificial agents, may face a risk of being seen as centralised and overly managed governance approach. In this paper, we explore the requirements and different preferences about moderators as seen by members. We follow a mixed-method approach consisting of a qualitative phase that included two focus groups and 16 interviews, followed by a quantitative phase, including a survey with 215 participants who declared having well-being issues. We report on the qualitative phase findings achieved through thematic analysis. We also report and discuss the survey results studying the role of gender, self-control, personality traits, culture, the perception of usefulness and willingness to join the group as predictors of the members’ expectations from moderators, resulted from the qualitative phase.

Behaviour change system, Human factors in information systems, Peer support groups
1865-1348
157-173
Springer
Aldhayan, Manal
86fde88b-14f4-45f1-818c-f1e753bdeb54
Naiseh, Mohammad
ab9d6b3c-569c-4d7c-9bfd-61bbb8983049
McAlaney, John
ed366b7f-d951-41c5-a3e4-ac2edf048a52
Ali, Raian
a8042ed0-9c68-49b2-885f-bc9932eb65b0
Dalpiaz, Fabiano
Zdravkovic, Jelena
Loucopoulos, Pericles
Aldhayan, Manal
86fde88b-14f4-45f1-818c-f1e753bdeb54
Naiseh, Mohammad
ab9d6b3c-569c-4d7c-9bfd-61bbb8983049
McAlaney, John
ed366b7f-d951-41c5-a3e4-ac2edf048a52
Ali, Raian
a8042ed0-9c68-49b2-885f-bc9932eb65b0
Dalpiaz, Fabiano
Zdravkovic, Jelena
Loucopoulos, Pericles

Aldhayan, Manal, Naiseh, Mohammad, McAlaney, John and Ali, Raian (2020) Online Peer Support Groups for Behavior Change: Moderation Requirements. Dalpiaz, Fabiano, Zdravkovic, Jelena and Loucopoulos, Pericles (eds.) In Research Challenges in Information Science. RCIS 2020. vol. 385 LNBIP, Springer. pp. 157-173 . (doi:10.1007/978-3-030-50316-1_10).

Record type: Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)

Abstract

Technology-assisted behaviour awareness and change is on the rise. Examples include apps and sites for fitness, healthy eating, mental health and smoking cessation. These information systems recreated principles of influence and persuasion in a digital form allowing real-time observation, interactivity and intervention. Peer support groups are one of the behavioural influence techniques which showed various benefits, including hope installation and relapse prevention. However, unmoderated groups may become a vehicle for comparisons and unmanaged interactions leading to digression, normalising the negative behaviour and lowering self-esteem. A typical requirement of such groups is to be of a social and supportive nature whereas moderation, through humans or artificial agents, may face a risk of being seen as centralised and overly managed governance approach. In this paper, we explore the requirements and different preferences about moderators as seen by members. We follow a mixed-method approach consisting of a qualitative phase that included two focus groups and 16 interviews, followed by a quantitative phase, including a survey with 215 participants who declared having well-being issues. We report on the qualitative phase findings achieved through thematic analysis. We also report and discuss the survey results studying the role of gender, self-control, personality traits, culture, the perception of usefulness and willingness to join the group as predictors of the members’ expectations from moderators, resulted from the qualitative phase.

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More information

Published date: 2020
Venue - Dates: 14th International Conference on Research Challenges in Information Sciences, RCIS 2020, , Limassol, Cyprus, 2020-09-22 - 2020-09-24
Keywords: Behaviour change system, Human factors in information systems, Peer support groups

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 455673
URI: http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/455673
ISSN: 1865-1348
PURE UUID: f6d277ed-cb16-4b45-81e0-fec475329c45
ORCID for Mohammad Naiseh: ORCID iD orcid.org/0000-0002-4927-5086

Catalogue record

Date deposited: 30 Mar 2022 16:44
Last modified: 28 Apr 2022 02:32

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Contributors

Author: Manal Aldhayan
Author: Mohammad Naiseh ORCID iD
Author: John McAlaney
Author: Raian Ali
Editor: Fabiano Dalpiaz
Editor: Jelena Zdravkovic
Editor: Pericles Loucopoulos

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