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Scientists Explore Web-Based Educational Tools for Young Adults with Cancer

They designed two web-based tools, one focusing on sexuality, the other focusing on fertility. Each tool combined short readings, exercises, photos and other illustrations, and videos featuring peers with cancer who discussed their experiences with the topic at hand. The tools also gave users the option to participate in an online forum, ask questions directly to an expert, and speak to a counselor twice by phone.

The tool was divided into separate modules that became available every ten days. The sexuality and fertility interventions could be completed in 60 and 70 days, respectively.

Twenty-three people between the ages of 18 and 43 tested the program. They had been diagnosed with cancer within the previous five years. About 35% of the participants had lymphoma, the most common type in the group, followed by breast cancer, cervical cancer, cancer of the central nervous system, testicular cancer, and ovarian cancer. All of the participants were from Sweden.

Fourteen people (11 women and 3 men) signed up to test the sexuality tool. Nine (8 women and 1 man) used the fertility intervention. Overall, 15 participants (“committed users”) completed at least four modules of their chosen tool.

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