Teachers College, Columbia University
New York, New York


DESCRIPTION OF RESEARCH: As a pre-doctoral fellow with the Research Group on Disparities in Health within the Department of Health and Behavior Studies at Teachers College, Columbia University, in New York, New York, I am working with my sponsor (Dr. Barbara Wallace) on this study. The purpose of this study is to investigate how patients with cancer are using electronic sources for e-health, both with regards to information-seeking and social support. Specifically, the study seeks to understand and provide some insight into how patients with cancer are seeking information about and gaining social support online during their illness. 
Our goal is to use what we learn from this study to share information on successful health education strategies for social marketing campaigns, or “what works” in communicating with patients with cancer who may be in need of information gather or social support during their illness.

RISK AND BENEFITS:  There are no anticipated risks to participants in this study. However, some people might experience some emotional pain, sadness, or stress thinking about the risk or experience of having unprotected sex and related consequences. Although, we would encourage study completion, a participant can discontinue participation in this study at any time. Simply click “end/exit” to exit the study, or delete the whole email or study link entirely.  Any participant who becomes upset can pursue help, as follows, as an Internet user: conduct a search via Google.com by entering “free online counseling” (e.g., http://www.myshrink.com/online-crisis-counseling-t.php and access support 24 hours a day/seven days a week from a trained professional volunteer; or, http://www.psychresources.net/ to access online counseling resources; or, http://www.mytherapycouch.com/free_online_therapy/ to receive free online therapy with a qualified professional). Again, we do not think that study participation will trigger so much pain that this is necessary, but we offer these suggestions as a precaution. 

PAYMENTS: There are no payments associated with participating in this study.  However, a participant has a 3 in 200 chance of winning a $75 gift certificate to www.Amazon.com. Once 200 people complete the entire survey, a program will automatically send out bar-coded gift certificates to 3 randomly chosen e-mail accounts without in any way linking your identity to the survey results.

DATA STORAGE TO PROTECT CONFIDENTIALITY: Since this is an online survey, actual names, addresses and phone numbers are not needed, and only aggregate (group) data will be utilized. The designers of the website have taken steps to ensure that all data will remain secure, private and confidential.

TIME INVOLVEMENT: The survey should take about 25-40 minutes.

HOW RESULTS WILL BE USED:  This information will also be used as part of dissertation data for the researchers’ doctorate degree in health education. The data will be presented at health education meetings, published in journals and used for other educational purposes.

Institutional Review Board Protocol Approval # 12-077

Thanks for your participation!

Laura Glass, MA
(Ed.D. Candidate, Teachers College, Columbia University)