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Exploring the digital technology preferences of teenagers and young adults (TYA) with cancer and survivors: a cross-sectional service evaluation questionnaire

Abrol, E; Groszmann, M; Pitman, A; Hough, R; Taylor, RM; Aref-Adib, G; (2017) Exploring the digital technology preferences of teenagers and young adults (TYA) with cancer and survivors: a cross-sectional service evaluation questionnaire. Journal of Cancer Survivorship , 11 (6) pp. 670-682. 10.1007/s11764-017-0618-z. Green open access

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Abstract

PURPOSE: Digital technology has the potential to support teenagers and young adults (TYAs) with cancer from the onset of their disease into survivorship. We aimed to establish (1) the current pattern of use of TYA digital technologies within our service-user population, and (2) their preferences regarding digital information and support within the service. METHODS: A cross-sectional survey was administered as a paper and online self-completed questionnaire to TYAs aged 13–24 accessing outpatient, inpatient, and day care cancer services at a regional specialist centre over a 4-week period. RESULTS: One hundred two TYAs completed the survey (55.7% male; 39.8% female; 83.3% paper; 16.7% online; mean age 18.5 years [SD = 3.51]). Of the TYAs, 41.6% rated the importance of digital communication as “essential” to their lives. Half (51.0%) kept in contact with other patients they had met during treatment, and 12.0% contacted patients they had not met in person. Respondents wanted to receive clinical information online (66.3%) and use online chat rooms (54.3%). Future online services desired included virtual online groups (54.3%), online counselling or psychological support (43.5%), and receiving (66.3%) and sharing (48.9%) clinical information online. CONCLUSIONS: Young people with cancer are digital natives. A significant subgroup expressed a desire for digital resources from oncology services, though existing resources are also highly valued. Digital resources have potential to improve patient experience and engagement. IMPLICATIONS FOR CANCER SURVIVORS: There is considerable scope to develop digital resources with which TYAs can receive information and connect with both professionals and fellow patients, following diagnosis, through treatment and survivorship.

Type: Article
Title: Exploring the digital technology preferences of teenagers and young adults (TYA) with cancer and survivors: a cross-sectional service evaluation questionnaire
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1007/s11764-017-0618-z
Publisher version: http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s11764-017-0618-z
Language: English
Additional information: © The Author(s) 2017 Open Access This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons license, and indicate if changes were made.
Keywords: Oncology, Social Sciences, Biomedical, Biomedical Social Sciences, TYA, AYA, Teenagers, Young adults, Survivorship, Digital communications, Service development, Technology, Psycho-oncology, INTERNET USE, ADOLESCENTS, SUICIDE, TYA, AYA, Teenagers, Young adults, Survivorship, Digital communications, Service development, Technology, Psycho-oncology
UCL classification: UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences > Division of Psychiatry
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Medical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Medical Sciences > Cancer Institute
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Medical Sciences > Cancer Institute > Research Department of Haematology
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Medical Sciences > Cancer Institute > Research Department of Oncology
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/1562738
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