Date of Graduation

Summer 8-16-2017

Document Type

Project/Capstone

Degree Name

Master of Science in Behavioral Health (MSBH)

College/School

School of Nursing and Health Professions

First Advisor

Dr. Kelly L'Engle

Second Advisor

Dr. Kathleen Raffel

Abstract

Introduction: For many years, health care organizations have offered peer cancer support groups to cancer survivors, but peer cancer support group evaluation is not standardized. Without a clear and consistent evaluation, it may be difficult to understand the efficacy of and gain support for peer cancer support groups. In this paper, I discuss how an evaluation was created for a peer cancer support group called Cancer Awareness Resource and Education (CARE).

Methods: In-depth interviews with CARE participants were conducted and pre-survey and a post-survey were developed. The in-depth interviews included a convenience sample of eight individuals, two individuals from the following ethnic groups: African/African American, Asian/Pacific Islander, Caucasian, and Latino/Chicano. A pre-survey was also piloted on 25 CARE participants during a seminar.

Results: Social support was highly valued by CARE participants, with interviewees stating they came to CARE to meet other cancer survivors, they gain social support, and they continued to come to obtain additional social support. Since social support was commonly valued, a pre-survey and post-survey was created to measure social support.

Discussion: Conducting qualitative interviews to help create quantitative surveys seemed to be most effective for this project since no standardized peer cancer support evaluation method or tool exist. Social support seemed to be highly valued and leveraged in CARE, and should be the focus of future evaluation of cancer peer support groups.

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