A Case Study Approach to Understanding the Value of Blogging for Social Support in Parents of Children Who Have Completed Cancer-Directed Treatment Public Deposited

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  • February 26, 2019
  • Killela, Mary K.
    • Affiliation: School of Nursing
  • Background: Completion of cancer-directed treatment contains a stressful transition for children with cancer and their families. Amplification of stress occurs when the social supports that are associated with regular hospitalizations and outpatient visits are less frequent and thus a gap in the social network of families is created. The use of social media presents a possible source of support to fill this gap. Objective: This exploratory study aims to qualify the types of support evident in one family’s publicly available online blog detailing their experiences upon completion of cancer-directed treatment. Methods: By implementing Schaefer’s theory of social support, which differentiates among emotional support, information support, and tangible support (1981), this paper used directed content analysis to scrutinize blog posts written in the six-month period following cancer-directed treatment completion and to sort the content by social support domain. Results: The most common form of social support observed was information support in two categories: information about medical procedures and information about family life. The second most common form of social support was emotional support, namely expression of fear and stress associated with both disease recurrence and the quest to achieve a new normal. Lastly, the third form of social support, tangible support, was the least common and expressed in terms of gratitude for such support. Conclusions: This paper serves to provide information necessary for future studies in developing a nursing intervention to distribute blogging as a means of improving social support among parents and caregivers of children who have completed cancer-directed treatment.
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  • In Copyright
  • Funding: None
  • Santacroce, Sheila
  • Bachelor of Science
Academic concentration
  • Nursing
Honors level
  • Honors
Degree granting institution
  • University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Graduation year
  • 2017
  • English

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