Publication details

Advantages and Disadvantages of Internet Use : The Perspective of Women with Eating Disorders Experience



Year of publication 2022
Type Article in Periodical
Magazine / Source Health Communication
MU Faculty or unit

Faculty of Social Studies

Keywords eating disorders; internet use; Uses and Gratifications Theory; qualitative analysis
Attached files
Description Even though the internet is a common source of information and treatment for people with eating disorder (ED) experience, the motives for illness-related searches have rarely been investigated beyond the perceived negatives. This study explores how women with ED experience reflect upon the advantages and disadvantages of their ED-related internet use. We expand the framework of the Uses and Gratifications Theory (U&G) into the context of users with ED experience through 30 semi-structured interviews with women with ED experience, aged 16 to 28, who live in the Czech Republic. Thematic analysis revealed four themes related to the pros and cons of their internet usage: ED-related Information Content; Internet Features Important to Users; Body Image; and Social Interaction. The results challenge the binary view of ED-related internet use and question some presumptions of U&G Theory within the specific context of users with ED experience.

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