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Chronic diseases such as heart disease stroke cancer chronic respiratory disease chronic rheumatic disease and diabetes are disease of long duration and generally slow progression and are by far the leading cause of mortality in the world WHO 2012 In 2005 133 million Americans had at least one chronic illness CDC 2009 According to advanced medical service and development of medical technology these chronic diseases are preventable and controllable Therefore people who have chronic diseases live longer and pursue their higher quality of life Social support and support group became more and more important for people who are diagnosed these chronic diseases They want to know about their disease and health related questions support their emotions and share their experiences Online Support groupsThe traditional face-to-face support groups have many advantages but still have many disadvantages First of all there are geographical restrictions for face-to-face groups such as bad weather conditions dark nights parking fees security issues refreshments costs and time limited For these reasons online support group could became more popular and develop in our modern society Due to prevalence of personal computer and internet access people spend increasingly more time in online social networks in their daily lives In addition people can use internet to interact in many ways Potts 2005 Online support groups are virtual communities for people affected by the same social or health issue Hess 2012 There are rare review papers on the benefits and challenges of online support groups especially chronic disease populations This systematic review aimed to summarize and evaluate the primary papers that reported the benefits or challenges of online support groups METHODSSearch strategyI searched for articles using the OVID MEDLINE and CINAHL database The OVID MEDLINE is one of the largest databases that contain tons of biomedical and nursing research journal papers This database is well-organized search tools so that can help to identify the primary paper easily and accurately The CINAHL provides more than 26 millions
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