Ciência & Saúde Coletiva, volume 23, issue 10, pp. 566-580.
Abstract: This study aims to understand how online communities can contribute to increasing the adherence of chronic patients to the treatment prescribed by the physician in Brazil. For this purpose, we applied the netnography method to analyze the community Diabetes: vivendo e aprendendo – troca de informações (free translation: “Diabetes: living and learning – information exchange”), considering the dimensions of adherence proposed by the World Health Organization (WHO) as a theoretical framework. The analysis shows the influence of cyberculture on health and disease processes, resulting in changes in physician-patient relationships, patient empowerment, and individual management of own chronic condition. The results also showed a positive influence of the interactions established in the community on the multidimensional factors of the adherence model proposed by the WHO1, also leading to the possibility of including a sixth related to connectivity. The primary motivations identified for community participation were access to information on the disease and treatment, the sharing of experiences and social support. Thus, the proposition of health policies that help chronic patients meet these needs tends to contribute to increased adherence to treatment.