Social Media and Youth: Partners in Cancer Care!
Cancer is still the most common natural cause of death among adolescents and young adults (AYA). Despite various support services aimed at improving AYA’s quality of life, their needs and preferences are often underestimated as AYA they fall in a kind of grey area between pediatric and adult oncology. As a result, quality of life in this group lags behind the improvements made in the pediatric and adult cancer population. Furthermore, studies reveal that available programs and services for AYA cancer patients are often not used due to lack of awareness and emphasize the need for more effective ways to deliver (“tailored”) information. Given the extensive use of social media within this age group, it is important to explore how these technologies can be used to reduce the health disparity experienced by the AYA cancer population.
The aim of the project (funded by Swiss Cancer League) is to thus to empower, support, and improve health outcomes for the young adult cancer community through the means of social media.
For this purpose we aim to conduct:
(1) Three focus groups with oncology healthcare professionals (i.e. physicians, nurses, psychologists, social workers etc.) who care for adolescents and young adults (aged 15-29) in Switzerland;
(2) Ten individual interviews with AYA (15-29 years old) who are receiving treatment in a pediatric or adult cancer center in Switzerland.
The needs of adolescents and young adults are often overlooked because they are usually not included in research. We would like to change this and hear their voice on how social media can be used to improve their needs!
Dr. Eva De Clercq
Dr. Michael Rost
Swiss Cancer League / Swiss Cancer Research
Effingerstrasse 40, PO Box 8219
CH-3001 Bern, t +41 31 389 91 09