Canteen Connect: Evaluation of Canteen's Online Health Community
Evaluating an online health community which provides a safe space for young people to explore and express their feelings, build their coping strategies, and enjoy time out from the pressures of daily life.
Young people impacted by their own or familial cancer require safe, secure, and accessible ways to connect with their peers and access information and professional support throughout the cancer journey to help with their feelings of isolation. Online Health Communities provide social networks, support and health-related content to people united by a shared health experience. Using a participatory design process, Canteen Connect was developed as an online health community for young people impacted by cancer, providing a safe space for young people to explore and express their feelings, build their coping strategies, and enjoy time out from the pressures of daily life.
Findings from a cross-sectional quantitative questionnaire satisfaction with Canteen Connect:
- Participants found Canteen Connect helpful (76%) and easy to use (71%)
- Canteen Connect was appropriate and useful for connecting with young people like themselves (74%) and chatting with a counsellor (84%)
- Three-quarters of participants felt they received emotional support from other young people in the Canteen Connect community
- Most young people reported Canteen Connect had a positive impact on their feelings of sadness, worry, and/or anxiety
Conclusion: Canteen Connect fills an important service provision gap in providing a useful and acceptable online health community for young people impacted by cancer, with initial promising psychological outcomes.
These evaluation findings were presented at the following conferences:
- Cohen, J., Patterson, P., & Husson, O. (2021, Sept). The implementation evaluation of an innovative online health community for adolescent and young adults impacted by cancer. Oral presentation at the Sydney Cancer Care Conference, Sydney, Australia
- Cohen, J., Patterson, P., & Husson, O. (2021). Connecting, Getting and Giving Support”: The implementation evaluation of an online health community for adolescent and young adults impacted by cancer. Oral presentation at the 22nd International Psycho-Oncology Society (IPOS) Congress Japan