Speaking of Susannah Fox's excellent work, it appears that she has just posted a new report titled "Cancer 2.0." Many of the themes in the report reflect earlier Pew research, but this passage caught my attention:
Interestingly, there are two online activities which stand out among people living with chronic disease: blogging and online health discussions. When other demographic factors are held constant, having a chronic disease significantly increases an internet user’s likelihood to say they work on a blog or contribute to an online discussion, a listserv, or other online group forum that helps people with personal issues or health problems.
Living with chronic disease is also associated, once someone is online, with a greater likelihood to access user-generated health content such as blog posts, hospital reviews, doctor reviews, and podcasts. These resources allow an internet user to dive deeply into a health topic, using the internet as a communications tool, not simply an information vending machine.
The complete report is available here.