Paediatric cancer families benefit from Facebook conversations

child cancer social media - smWhen it comes to sharing experiences caring for a child with cancer, parents often turn to social media as a way to connect with support.

This fact the Little Fighters Cancer Trust can attest to, as our Facebook Page is really busy with informative posts, funding and donation requests, and articles from us as well as communication with our Little Fighters’ Families.

Those are also the findings of new research published online ahead of print by the journal Cancer Nursing.

Little research has systematically studied how people use social networking sites when confronting serious illness,” says the paper’s first author, Elizabeth Gage-Bouchard, PhD, Associate Member of Cancer Prevention and Control at Roswell Park Cancer Institute.

Our study shows that personal Facebook pages offer a platform for cancer caregivers to share their cancer-related experiences, promote advocacy and awareness and mobilize social support,” adds Lynda Kwon Beaupin, MD, Assistant Professor of Oncology in the Department of Paediatric Oncology.

Researchers examined personal Facebook pages of parents of children with Acute Lymphoblastic Leukaemia, a form of childhood cancer, from May 2012 to May 2013.

The analysis of more than 15,000 Facebook posts found six primary categories of health communications on personal Facebook pages:

  1. Documenting the Cancer Journey
  2. Sharing Emotional Strain associated with Caregiving
  3. Promoting Awareness and Advocacy about Paediatric Cancer
  4. Fundraising
  5. Mobilising Support
  6. Expressing Gratitude for Support

Clinicians can educate parents on how to evaluate information obtained through Facebook using evidence-based guidelines. The health care team can and should encourage patients and their caregivers to connect with support and celebrate accomplishments throughout their cancer trajectory and Facebook is one vehicle for sharing this information and support,” adds Dr. Gage-Bouchard.


Source: Cancer Nursing

Article: Cancer Communication on Social Media: Examining How Cancer Caregivers Use Facebook for Cancer-Related Communication, Gage-Bouchard, Elizabeth A. PhD; LaValley, Susan MS, MA, MLS; Mollica, Michelle PhD, MPH, RN, OCN; Beaupin, Lynda Kwon MD, Cancer Nursing, doi: 10.1097/NCC.0000000000000418, published 20 July 2016.



About LFCT

This is a blog about CHILDHOOD CANCER and CHILDHOOD CANCER AWARENESS Little Fighters Cancer Trust is a non-profit organisation that offers support and aid to Children with Cancer and their families. When a child is diagnosed with cancer it affects the whole family. One of the parents, usually the mother, must give up their job to care for the child and this creates financial problems for the family. In South Africa especially the majority of these families are not well-to-do; many of them are rural. A diagnosis of cancer can wipe out any family’s finances, let alone a poor family. The costs of special medications, special diets, hospital stays, transport to and from the hospital or clinic and accommodation and food costs for the mother who spends most of the time at her child’s bedside are astronomical. These are the people and problems that fall through the cracks, and these are the people that Little Fighters Cancer Trust has pledged to help in any way possible. LFCT takes a holistic approach to assisting the Children with Cancer and their Families, with the main aim to be the preservation of individual dignity and pride. Little Fighters Cancer Trust also focuses on promotion and advocacy of National Childhood Cancer Awareness in an effort to increase awareness of Early Warning Signs of Childhood Cancer. This would result in earlier diagnosis, giving the Child with Cancer more of a chance at Treatment and Survival. See "About" for more Background info

Posted on 11 August, 2016, in Blog. Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.

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