Exploring Remembrance and Social Support Behavior in an Online Bereavement Support Group

Michael Massimi

Proc. CSCW 2013 |

Published by ACM Conference on Computer Supported Cooperative Work

Designing interactive systems that sensitively engage with end of life issues is a key challenge for CSCW as more and more people turn to the Internet to grapple with the realities of death. However, there are few studies that document how specific remembrance or support features of bereavement websites are used in a real-world setting. This paper describes Besupp, a website where bereaved individuals can participate in online support groups. Three support groups used Besupp in a ten-week long deployment study. Based on this study, I describe how participants perceived and used the remembrance and social support features of the site. These results form the basis for a set of implications regarding the design of technologies for remembrance, social support, and bereavement more generally.