Theses and Dissertations

Issuing Body

Mississippi State University


Cornelious, F. Linda

Committee Member

Olinzock, Anthony

Committee Member

Stumpf, D. Arthur

Committee Member

Xu, Jianzhong

Committee Member

Johnson, C.W.

Date of Degree


Document Type

Dissertation - Open Access


Instructional Systems and Workforce Development

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy


College of Education


Department of Instructional Systems, Leadership and Workforce Development


The purpose of this study was to describe the perceptions of women diagnosed with gynecologic cancers or pre-cancers regarding participation in an online support group. The study contributed to the literature regarding online support for women with gynecologic cancers and pre-cancers. The data were analyzed using the descriptive univariate analysis method of frequency distribution presented in percentages. Out of a population of 472 members of an online support group for women with gynecologic cancers and pre-cancers, 379 (80%) participated in the study. A survey instrument consisting of 6 parts was used in this study. Part I and Part IV of the instrument were designed to collect data regarding the benefits (personal enrichments) of participating in an online support group. Part II and Part III were designed to collect data regarding the advantages of a support group being online, while Part V collected data regarding online support, illness, information, awareness, and sense of self. Part VI collected demographic information and personal information. The research questions posed in the study were developed to examine benefits, advantages, and information about participating in an online support group. The results from this study indicated that there are many benefits (personal enrichments) of online support for the women with gynecologic cancers and pre-cancers who joined these groups, as well as many advantages for them of a support group being online. The results also suggested that although these members were demographically different and were experiencing a variety of gynecologic cancers and pre-cancers, they were very cohesive in their wants and needs from online support. The results indicated that the experiences, both physical and emotional, of the women in these groups were more similar than different. Conclusions and recommendations based on the findings in this study indicated that online support is a positive addition to the lives of the women dealing with cancers and pre-cancers and that more in-depth studies should be conducted and the information disseminated to cancer patients.



support groups||pre-cancer||gyne cancer