University of Tasmania
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Online Mental Health Forums and Rural Resilience: Mixed Methods Study and Logic Model

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posted on 2023-12-11, 04:03 authored by Artur Steiner, Jane Farmer, Peter Kamstra, Karen Carlisle, Anthony McCosker, Susan KilpatrickSusan Kilpatrick
BACKGROUND: Rural mental health is a growing area of concern internationally, and online mental health forums offer a potential response to addressing service gaps in rural communities. OBJECTIVE: The objective of this study was to explore and identify pathways by which online peer support mental health forums help to build resilience for rural residents experiencing mental ill-health by contributing to overcoming their specific contextual challenges. METHODS: We developed a Theoretical Resilience Framework and applied it to 3000 qualitative posts from 3 Australian online mental health forums and to data from 30 interviews with rural forum users. RESULTS: Drawing on the findings and an abductive approach, a logic model was developed to illustrate links between the resilience resources built and enabling features of forums that make them spaces that facilitate resilience. CONCLUSIONS: The study demonstrated that online forums make valuable contributions to social well-being and access to a range of timely support services for rural people experiencing mental ill-health, and, while doing so, involve users in the processes of resilience building. The study provides a new way for practitioners to frame the work of and value produced by forums. It gives a logic model that can be used in evaluation and audit as it facilitates a causal framing of how forums, as an intervention, link with resilience outcomes. Ultimately, the study contributes to developing new knowledge about how rural resilience building can be conceptualized and measured while showing how forums are part of contemporary health service provision in rural places.


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  • Article

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ARTN e47459








Education, TIA - Research Institute



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Event Venue

Glasgow Caledonian University, Yunus Centre, Glasgow, United Kingdom.

Rights statement

©Artur Steiner, Jane Farmer, Peter Kamstra, Karen Carlisle, Anthony McCosker, Sue Kilpatrick. Originally published in JMIR Mental Health (, 28.06.2023. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work, first published in JMIR Mental Health, is properly cited. The complete JMIR Ment Health 2023 | vol. 10 | e47459 | p. 16 bibliographic information, a link to the original publication on, as well as this copyright and license information must be included.

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