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Research Study For Young Adult Cancer Caregivers!

young adult cancer caregivers study

For many people, young adulthood is a time of exploring and forming their identity.  Young adults are often completing their education, establishing a career, and developing intimate relationships.  Most young adults do not expect to take care of a loved one with cancer.  This is not a typical responsibility for someone their age.  Yet, about 1.46 million young adults take care of a cancer patient.  When a family member or close friend is diagnosed with cancer, young adults may have to put aside their current activities and future goals to take care of their loved one with cancer.  Taking care of a cancer patient can be difficult.  It can be especially difficult for young adults who have a lot of other responsibilities, like taking care of young children or starting a dream job.  Taking care of a cancer patient can sometimes lead to fear of abandonment, uncertainty, and loss.  It can also threaten one’s financial stability.  On the other hand, young adults can be protected from the negative parts of caregiving when they feel supported by those around them.

A social network is a group of people, like friends, acquaintances, and coworkers who are connected by interpersonal relationships.  Many people use social media, like Facebook and Twitter, to interact with their social networks.  Over 97% of young adults use social media in their everyday lives.  They use social media to get answers to questions about health, share information, and build relationships.  Using social media might help young adults who take care of a cancer patient.  This study asks the question, “How does using social media help or hinder a young adult when they start taking care of a cancer patient?”  By doing this study, we want to explain how young adults who are taking care of cancer patients can use social media to get the help they need.

If you are between the ages 18-39 years, and you help take care of a friend or family member who has been diagnosed with cancer in the last year, we need your help!  Please contact Echo Warner or Austin Waters for more information:
Echo Warner, MPH
Huntsman Cancer Institute

Austin Waters
Huntsman Cancer Institute