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Keywords

Internet support, Late effects, Long-term cancer survivors, Online support

 

Authors

  1. KLEMM, PAULA PhD, RN, OCN

Abstract

Ten million cancer survivors in the United States are at increased risk for developing late effects of treatment. Due to a lack of consistent follow-up care, many long-term cancer survivors use the Internet as a source of information and support. Research on online support for this cohort is lacking. The purposes of this study were to identify major themes related to long-term cancer survivorship and report late effects of treatment as described by members of an online support group. A qualitative descriptive method was utilized. Seventy-five long-term cancer survivors posted 300 messages online during an 8-week period and reported a wide variety of late effects. Three categorical schemes were identified: information exchange, symptomatology, and frustration with healthcare providers. Cancer survivors are utilizing Internet resources to find health-related information and support that has not been provided by healthcare providers. Additional research is needed to generate knowledge about the role of online support for long-term cancer survivors.