Teens and Young Adults with Cancer and Survivors Express Use of Digital Resources

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Teenagers and young adults with cancer rated digital resources and communication as critical to their lives.
Teenagers and young adults with cancer rated digital resources and communication as critical to their lives.

Teenagers and young adults at cancer stages from diagnosis through survivorship frequently want digital resources from oncology services and value existing resources, according to a recent article in the Journal of Cancer Survivorship.

Researchers in England administered a paper or online questionnaire to teenagers and young adults (13 to 24 years) using outpatient, inpatient, and day care cancer services at a regional specialist center in England over the course of 4 weeks. 

In total, 102 teenagers and young adults completed the questionnaire; 41.6% rated digital resources and communication as critical to their lives. A little more than half (51%) reported maintaining communication with other patients they had met during treatment, and 12.0% reported contacting patients they had not met in person.

Most respondents expressed desire to receive clinical information online (66.3%) and to use online chat rooms (54.3%).

Respondents wanted the development of future online services that included virtual online groups (54.3%), online counseling or psychological support (43.5%), and receiving (66.3%) and sharing (48.9%) clinical information online.

These results highlight the considerable opportunity to develop additional digital resources for teenagers and young adults with cancer through survivorship.

Reference

1. Abrol E, Groszmann M, Pitman A, Hough R, Taylor RM, Aref-Adib G. Exploring the digital technology preferences of teenagers and young adults (TYA) with cancer and survivors: a cross-sectional service evaluation questionnaire [published online June 20, 2017]. J Cancer Surviv. doi: 10.1007/s11764-017-0618-z

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