Online social support for cancer caregivers: alignment between requests and offers on CaringBridge. Academic Article uri icon


  • OBJECTIVES: Exploring CaringBridge, we describe types of social support caregivers requested, types of social support offered, and the alignment between the two. RESEARCH APPROACH: A retrospective, longitudinal, descriptive approach. SAMPLE: Twenty public CaringBridge sites. METHODOLOGICAL APPROACH: The Social Support Behavior Code system was adapted and applied to cancer-caregiver journal entries (n=389) and guestbook posts (n=2,466) to identify types of support (emotional, esteem, informational, network, tangible, and no support requested/offered). Matches between requests and offers were examined. FINDINGS: Cancer caregivers requested different types of support from their guests, most commonly emotional support. However, in most posts, caregivers did not request any support (n=238, 61.18%). Guests offered all support types, but predominately offered emotional support (n=2,353, 95%). When support was requested, 66.67% of requests received a matched offer within 24hours. INTERPRETATION: Social media platforms may provide all types of support to caregivers.

published proceedings

  • J Psychosoc Oncol

altmetric score

  • 3.85

author list (cited authors)

  • Bloom, R. D., Reblin, M., Chou, W., Beck, S. L., Wilson, A., & Ellington, L.

citation count

  • 6

complete list of authors

  • Bloom, Rosaleen Duggan||Reblin, Maija||Chou, Wen-Ying Sylvia||Beck, Susan L||Wilson, Andrew||Ellington, Lee

publication date

  • January 2021