|dc.description.abstract||Cancer in young adulthood is unique in that there are clear biological, epidemiological, and etiological differences attributed to this age frame (Bleyer, 2002; Canadian Cancer Statistics, 2007; Cancer in Young Adults in Canada, 2006). Similarly, the psychosocial challenges are also unique and the need for specialized psychosocial care has been clearly advocated (Bleyer, 2002; Corsini & Ammerman, 2008; Pentheroudakis & Pavlidis, 2005; Thomas, Seymour, O'Brien, Sawyer, & Ashley, 2006; Zebrack, Chesler, Penn, & Katz, 2005). In an attempt to assess and meet the psychosocial needs of young adults with cancer in Northwestern Ontario, patients aged 18 to 44 years were mailed a questionnaire package and invited to participate in an online information and support group. Demographic, medical, and psychosocial patient characteristics were assessed. Levels of distress, social support, and active use of the online group were measured. Primary goals of the research were to assess interest in online support in young adults with cancer, predictors of interest, and relationships among distress measures and social support.
Significant differences emerged between individuals interested and not interested in participating in the online group, with women and those with a previous history of Supportive Care use being more likely to be interested. Significant predictors of interest in participating online included
gender, distress, social support, and previous use of Supportive Care services. Higher distress scores were correlated across measures, and generally associated with lower social support. The implications of these findings for providing supportive care services to young adults with cancer