People who have life-changing medical diagnosis often feel isolated, which can be harmful to their health. Research has shown that patients who aren’t connected to a support system experience greater physical pain.

According to studies published by the “Journal of the American College of Surgeons,”Patients’ social circles can impact their pain levels, healing times, and overall health. Twenty percent of patients with smaller social networks reported experiencing twice the pain as patients with better connections. Patients who were not supported had to stay longer in hospital.

Some patients believe they are a burden on their loved ones. Caregivers might feel isolated and unable to share their problems and frustrations with them. People under stress may find it difficult to communicate with long-distance family and friends. The Internet has allowed patients and their families to form support networks and connect with others in similar situations.

Some studies show that 75% of internet health searchers use the Internet for their health queries to connect with people who have actually experienced their health issue. is an online community that connects people who are facing major health challenges. Patients and caregivers can log their experiences and receive support messages from both their family and wider community. has real-time discussion forums that focus on parenting, spirituality, cancer, and emotional well-being. There are many ways to give, receive and seek emotional support online. It allows friends and family to share their feelings and even send them thoughtful gifts via the online gift shop.

Patients and caregivers have the option to create their own personal web sites, which allow them to share real-time updates and upload photos. They can also receive support messages. An e-mail is automatically sent to all guests who are following the CarePages Web site member’s posts.

One member, whose husband was undergoing a bone marrow donor to treat his cancer, wrote “really changed an isolating cancer diagnosis into something that was very community-oriented.”

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