SimStay Online Support Groups
As noted in previous research, there is benefit to be gained by patients participating in online support groups. Because of these potential benefits, SimStay will include a component that allows players to participate in various support groups offered by the hospital.
The support groups will be moderated by a hospital employee and will be held during a scheduled time and date. This is to ensure that the conversations within the support group are relevant to the support group topic, and to ensure the validity of any health information shared.
This will be a place for patients and family members to share their personal experiences with others. The patients will appear as their character avatars, and will not include any specific details that include protected health information. If patients choose to include specific personal information, it will be by choice and is no means required. This to is both protect the patient’s privacy and foster trust between patients and staff. Patients who join the support groups are not required to participate, but the support group will reflect that they are present so other participants know how many people are in the support group.
The support groups are aimed at patients who are either managing a chronic condition, such as diabetes or heart disease, or are undergoing a form of extended rehabilitation, such as cardiovascular rehab or rehab after a stroke.