The rapid expansion of online technologies and health resources has created opportunities to develop broadly available interventions to address the needs of the modern patient. This study proposes a theoretical structure based on Andersen's Individual Determinants of Health Service Utilization Model to describe who is using online support and how it is being used. Also unique to this analysis was the use of objective behavioral data to describe and predict website utilization, and linguistic analysis to evaluate the content of what is shared in online groups. Eighty-four men and women completed baseline evaluations and were randomized into either online support or a waiting-list control condition. The overall theoretical structure did not produce a significant model; however the individual variables education, past online experience, and time spent online were predictive of participation. The somewhat unexpected finding that those with no prior online group experience and those who were high school educated were more likely to participate is discussed. If replicated, these findings may lend support to the idea that online interventions could provide needed support to individuals who do not typically participate in face-to-face interventions, and that the barriers to online group participation are not the same as the barriers for face-to-face group participation.

LLU Discipline

Clinical Psychology




School of Science and Technology

First Advisor

Owen, Jason

Second Advisor

Arechiga, Adam

Third Advisor

Bantum, Erin O'Carroll

Fourth Advisor

Boyd, Kenny

Fifth Advisor

Vermeersch, David

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Degree Level


Year Degree Awarded

January 2011

Date (Title Page)




Library of Congress/MESH Subject Headings

Individual Differences; Mental Health -- Computer Network Resources; Health Services Accessiblity;

Subject - Local

Online Health Resources; Andersen's Individual Determinants of Health Service Utilization Model; Online Support; Group Participation



Page Count

112 p.

Digital Format


Digital Publisher

Loma Linda University Libraries

Usage Rights

This title appears here courtesy of the author, who has granted Loma Linda University a limited, non-exclusive right to make this publication available to the public. The author retains all other copyrights.


Loma Linda University Electronic Theses & Dissertations

Collection Website



Loma Linda University. Del E. Webb Memorial Library. University Archives