McMaster University

McMaster University

Faculty of
Health Sciences

McMaster graduate student examines the IVF blogging scene

By Thana Dharmarajah
Published: May 14, 2013
Elizabeth Orr and Kelly Stevenson at the 2013 Faculty of Health Sciences research plenary
Elizabeth Orr, a second-year master’s student in nursing discusses her study on blogging practices of women undergoing IVF with a fellow student, Kelly Stevenson, at the 2013 Faculty of Health Sciences (FHS) research plenary.

Elizabeth Orr is searching for clues on how blogging impacts women undergoing in vitro fertilization (IVF).

The McMaster University master's student in nursing came across a blogging phenomenon in the IVF community and decided to dig deeper. She is in the process of analyzing blogs that provide readers a rich experience of undergoing IVF.

Orr said using blogs as a primary data source is also a unique concept and she is also examining how to ethically collect data from blogs.

Orr will be one of the graduate students presenting their studies as part of the 2013 Faculty of Health Sciences (FHS) research plenary that runs Tuesday May 14 through Thursday May 16. The event celebrates the research achievements of graduate students in programs affiliated with FHS and FHS post-doctoral fellows. It takes place in the Jan and Mien Heersink Reading Pavilion in the Health Sciences Library at McMaster.

Health Sciences Research Plenary 2013
Presentation times and topics

Orr hopes her findings will help lead to improved care for women undergoing IVF. For example, she said, if women are seeking community, health-care providers can help them access that through their clinics and, if writing down their experiences helps alleviate stress, women could be encouraged to keep a journal.

"Graduate students and postdoctoral fellows are integral to our research mission," said Cathy Hayward, associate dean of graduate studies (health sciences). "The plenary is an opportunity to recognize and thank them for their wonderful contributions."

Orr's study will be featured on May 15 from 10 a.m. to noon

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