Brief report: A Pilot Study of a Web-based Resource for Families of Children with Cancer

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Abstract

Objective

To develop a Web-based resource for families of children newly diagnosed with cancer and examine the viability of this modality of providing support.

Methods

Twenty-one children (8–17 years) newly diagnosed with cancer and their families were enrolled. Quantitative data on Web site utilization and frequency of accessing specific sections and qualitative data on participant satisfaction are reported.

Results

Twenty-one families comprising 51 participants (children with cancer, parents, and siblings) had access to the Web site. Utilization was lower than anticipated, with members of only nine families accessing the site. The majority of these hits were on peer discussion groups.

Conclusion

Further research is warranted to examine whether the Internet is a viable method of delivering support to families affected by childhood cancer. The current pattern of results suggests that the timing of its introduction and the method used to train families may affect utilization.

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