Do you know there is an innovative online program available called CancerChatCanada?
CancerChatCanada provides online support to people affected by cancer. It is different from other online support groups offered in Canada because it uses live, text only chat and is facilitated by health care professionals (i.e. social workers, counsellors, psychosocial oncologists).
CancerChatCanada is a great example of technology helping people overcome barriers, both geographically and emotionally, to better connect patients in virtual support groups.
CancerChatCanada is a national program with more than 700 users and is headquartered in Vancouver at the BC Cancer Agency.
It began as a research program and is now an integrated service offered across Canada.
The principal investigator of the program is Dr. Joanne Stephen, clinician scientist with the BC Cancer Agency Psychosocial Oncology program, who recently published a paper in Current Oncology. Stephen’s study found that live, text based chat was an effective medium for support groups.
Online chat is effective because it allows individuals living with cancer and their family members easy access to support.
Groups meet once a week for 10-12 weeks and chat for 90 minutes.
Programs like CancerChatCanada are especially important in remote communities where in-person support groups may not be available, or may not exist for specific cancer types.
Anonymity is another aspect that adds to the success of this program, as participants are more comfortable sharing information than in-person.
Check out CancerChatCanada if you are affected by cancer yourself, or through a loved one or friend.
Go to: http://cancerchatcanada.ca for more information.