Empowering cancer survivors through information technology
Researchers at the University of Minnesota, led by Dr. Alicia Kunin Batson, have developed a study using an online tool designed to help adolescent and young adult cancer survivors understand their health risks.
Previous studies have shown that cancer survivors are the key conduit for communicating essential information about their diagnosis and treatment to their primary care physician. Surprisingly, however, many young adult cancer survivors are not knowledgeable about their diagnosis and treatments, nor are they aware of the continuing health risks. A poor understanding of their risks may prevent survivors from taking important steps to improve their long-term health.
The study attempts to answer the following questions:
- When are childhood cancer survivors most receptive to learning details about their diagnosis, treatment and recommended follow-up care?
- Will giving survivors access to an Internet-based, user-friendly resource increase their understanding of their health and the likelihood that they will communicate concerns to their primary care physicians?