Social Media Use for Cancer Support Among Young Adults with Cancer. Journal of adolescent and young adult oncology Lazard, A. J., Meernik, C., Collins, M. K., Vereen, R. N., Benedict, C., Valle, C. G., Love, B. 2023


Purpose: Social media can facilitate peer support among young adults with cancer; however, information is needed about what social media are used, by whom, and how to inform resource and intervention recommendations. Methods: In December 2021, we conducted an online survey with 396 young adults with cancer, ages 18-39, with any diagnosis ages 15-39. Participants reported their social media use to connect with other young adults with cancer, including frequency of use, type of support, and affect (positive to negative) when using to connect with cancer peers. Results: Participants were on average 31 years old (SD?=?5.2), with an average age of 27 at diagnosis (63.4% male, 62.1% non-Hispanic White). Almost all (97.5%) reported using social media to connect with other young adults with cancer. Many (48.0%) used three or more social media platforms for cancer support, including Facebook (44.4%), YouTube (43.6%), Instagram (43.4%), Snapchat (36.9%), and Twitter (36.9%). Daily use for cancer support was common (32.9%-60.9%) among those who used social media, particularly among those who were younger; are not transgender; live in urban areas; or had brain, gynecologic, or testicular cancers. Across social media platforms, young adults with cancer reported seeking and sharing emotional support (88.9%), informational support (84.1%), and making connections (81.3%). Conclusion: Young adults with cancer use social media to connect with cancer peers for support. Commonly used existing social media (e.g., Facebook, YouTube, Instagram) should be prioritized in interventions to reach young adults who desire more age-appropriate resources to improve their psychosocial health.

View details for DOI 10.1089/jayao.2023.0025

View details for PubMedID 37257189