Online Mental Health Forums and Rural Resilience: Mixed Methods Study and Logic Model

Steiner, Artur, Farmer, Jane, Kamstra, Peter, Carlisle, Karen, McCosker, Anthony, and Kilpatrick, Sue (2023) Online Mental Health Forums and Rural Resilience: Mixed Methods Study and Logic Model. JMIR Mental Health, 10. e47459.

PDF (Published Version) - Published Version
Available under License Creative Commons Attribution.

Download (395kB) | Preview
View at Publisher Website:


Background: Rural mental health is a growing area of concern internationally, and online mental health forums offer a potential response to addressing service gaps in rural communities.

Objective: The objective of this study was to explore and identify pathways by which online peer support mental health forums help to build resilience for rural residents experiencing mental ill-health by contributing to overcoming their specific contextual challenges.

Methods: We developed a Theoretical Resilience Framework and applied it to 3000 qualitative posts from 3 Australian online mental health forums and to data from 30 interviews with rural forum users.

Results: Drawing on the findings and an abductive approach, a logic model was developed to illustrate links between the resilience resources built and enabling features of forums that make them spaces that facilitate resilience.

Conclusions: The study demonstrated that online forums make valuable contributions to social well-being and access to a range of timely support services for rural people experiencing mental ill-health, and, while doing so, involve users in the processes of resilience building. The study provides a new way for practitioners to frame the work of and value produced by forums. It gives a logic model that can be used in evaluation and audit as it facilitates a causal framing of how forums, as an intervention, link with resilience outcomes. Ultimately, the study contributes to developing new knowledge about how rural resilience building can be conceptualized and measured while showing how forums are part of contemporary health service provision in rural places.

Item ID: 79527
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 2368-7959
Keywords: logic model, mental health, online forums, personal resilience, rurality
Copyright Information: © Artur Steiner, Jane Farmer, Peter Kamstra, Karen Carlisle, Anthony McCosker, Sue Kilpatrick. Originally published in JMIR Mental Health (, 28.06.2023. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work, first published in JMIR Mental Health, is properly cited. The complete bibliographic information, a link to the original publication on, as well as this copyright and license information must be included.
Date Deposited: 24 Jan 2024 02:12
FoR Codes: 42 HEALTH SCIENCES > 4203 Health services and systems > 420321 Rural and remote health services @ 50%
42 HEALTH SCIENCES > 4203 Health services and systems > 420302 Digital health @ 50%
SEO Codes: 20 HEALTH > 2002 Evaluation of health and support services > 200208 Telehealth @ 50%
20 HEALTH > 2003 Provision of health and support services > 200305 Mental health services @ 50%
Downloads: Total: 8
Last 12 Months: 5
More Statistics

Actions (Repository Staff Only)

Item Control Page Item Control Page