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Contact: Bill Schappert, 914-740-2100, bschappert@liebertpub.com
Can Online Chat Rooms and "Cyberhugs" Help Chronic Pain Sufferers Cope?

New Rochelle, NY, March 18, 2013—The more than 100 million Americans living with chronic pain and daily suffering often have limited outlets to talk about their conditions with others who can understand and offer comfort. Online chatrooms may provide a beneficial forum where chronic pain sufferers can openly and safely communicate, as discussed in an article in Cyberpsychology, Behavior, and Social Networking, a peer-reviewed journal from Mary Ann Liebert, Inc., publishers. The article is available free online on the Cyberpsychology, Behavior, and Social Networking website.

In "Cyberhugs: Creating a Voice for Chronic Pain Sufferers through Technology," author Karin Becker, University North Dakota, Grand Forks, describes the social stigma, gender politics, and professional repercussions that often discourage people affected by chronic pain from talking about it. Her study of the role that online chatrooms dedicated to individuals with chronic pain can have in establishing a sense of community revealed two key themes: the importance of validation and encouragement.

“Online chatrooms may provide another outlet for support for chronic pain sufferers and may work towards removing barriers this population often experiences," says Brenda K. Wiederhold, PhD, MBA, BCIA, Editor-in-Chief of Cyberpsychology, Behavior, and Social Networking, from the Interactive Media Institute, San Diego, CA.

About the Journal
Cyberpsychology, Behavior, and Social Networking is a peer-reviewed journal published monthly online with Open Access options and in print that explores the psychological and social issues surrounding the Internet and interactive technologies, plus cybertherapy and rehabilitation. Complete tables of content and a sample issue may be viewed on the Cyberpsychology, Behavior, and Social Networking website.

About the Publisher
Mary Ann Liebert, Inc., publishers is a privately held, fully integrated media company known for establishing authoritative peer-reviewed journals in many promising areas of science and biomedical research, including Games for Health Journal, Telemedicine and e-Health, and Journal of Child and Adolescent Psychopharmacology. Its biotechnology trade magazine, Genetic Engineering & Biotechnology News (GEN), was the first in its field and is today the industry’s most widely read publication worldwide. A complete list of the firm’s 70 journals, books, and newsmagazines is available on the Mary Ann Liebert, Inc., publishers website.