We are Peter Bath and Julie Ellis – researchers in the Information School at University of Sheffield in the UK:

We are carrying out a new study that is looking at how people with serious illnesses (and their relatives and close friends) use the Web to share information and to discuss their experiences. We are also interested in how people build trust with others and empathise with them online. The aim of the study is to develop a better understanding of how people share information in online environments when they have been diagnosed with a life-threatening, terminal or chronic condition.

To learn more about what people share and how they build relationships with others online, we want to talk to people because we think it is really important to hear people’s explanations about their online sharing in their own words.

We are looking for volunteers 18 years+ to be interviewed about sharing online. If you have a diagnosis of MND or are involved in caring for someone who does, you use the mnda forum and you think you might be able to help us, then please do get in touch. Our contact details are at the end of this message.

We realise that you may have questions you would like to ask before you agree to be interviewed. That’s fine. If you get in touch, we can send you further information about the study and what taking part in an interview will involve.

We will share the findings from this research with the MND Association to help develop online services for people affected by MND. We really hope that this study will be helpful to individuals and organisations that set up web-sites for people to share their stories and experiences about living with illness in the future.

If you think you can help - we’d love to hear from you.

If you’d like to learn more about taking part in an interview, please contact Julie at: julie.ellis@sheffield.ac.uk or you can call Julie on 0114 222 2690.

Many thanks,

Peter Bath and Julie Ellis