NYMC Faculty Publications

Thematic Content of Video Narratives in Patients and Survivors of Adolescent Cancer

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OBJECTIVE: Modern day adolescents and young adults (AYAs) connect with their peers via a number of increasingly novel ways, many of which involve social media. These online relationships are often translated offline to increase one's social standing and quality of in-person relationships. However, when an AYA is diagnosed with a chronic medical condition, like cancer, in-person relationships with peers become difficult and the online component of socialization is all that is left. Video testimonials are a way that some AYAs have chosen to reach out to their peers; however, little is known about what AYAs are saying in these videos and how they are using them to connect with peers on a more intimate level.

METHODS: This study examined the content of video testimonials of n = 25 AYA cancer patients and survivors. Transcripts of videos were coded by a team of researchers to identify themes and overall tone.

RESULTS: Results suggested that films focused on struggles AYAs faced during their cancer journeys with a number of themes emerging; additionally, a hopeful tone was seen around the overall impact that cancer had on the patient's life.

CONCLUSIONS: It may be the case that video testimonials are an effective way to allow AYA patients with a cancer history to explore their thoughts about their illness experience and fill an important social gap not available to them as they undergo treatment.

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