Issues in Developing and Evaluating a Culturally Tailored Internet Cancer Support Group

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The purpose of this article is to explore practical issues in developing and implementing a culturally tailored Internet Cancer Support Group for a group of ethnic minority patients with cancer—Asian Americans. Throughout the research process of the original study testing the Internet cancer support group, the research team made written records of practical issues and plausible rationales for the issues. Weekly group discussion among research team members was conducted, and the discussion records were evaluated and analyzed using a content analysis (with individual words as the unit of analysis). The codes from the analysis process were categorized into idea themes, through which the issues were extracted. The issues included those in (1) difficulties in using multiple languages, (2) collaboration with the information technology department and technical challenges, (3) difficulties in recruitment, (4) difficulties in retention, (5) optimal timing, and (6) characteristics of the users. Based on the findings, we suggest that researchers plan a workable translation process, check technical needs in advance, use multiple strategies to recruit and retain research participants, plan the right time for data collection, and consider characteristics of the users in the study design.

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