Intervention Format and Delivery Preferences Among Young Adult Cancer Survivors

  • Carolyn Rabin
  • Norah Simpson
  • Kathleen Morrow
  • Bernardine Pinto



Young adult cancer survivors face a number of increased medical and psychosocial risks, including an increased risk of cardiovascular disease and emotional distress. Although behavioral strategies, such as exercise, may diminish some of these risks, few behavioral interventions have been developed for this population.


As a first step toward developing interventions specifically for young survivors, we conducted a qualitative study of their intervention-related preferences. A key objective was to identify the preferred format for delivering interventions (e.g., face-to-face, online).


In-depth, semi-structured individual interviews were conducted with 20 young adult cancer survivors between the ages of 18 and 39. This research was conducted in Rhode Island, USA.


Participants identified advantages and disadvantages to a variety of intervention formats including: telephone-based, print-based, computer-based, and several types of face-to-face interventions. The dominant theme that emerged was that interventions developed for young adult cancer survivors should take into account their multiple competing needs and obligations (e.g., work, family). Two closely related subthemes were: (1) the importance of developing interventions that are convenient and (2) the need for interventions that provide social support. Interventions for this population may be most successful if they take into account these themes.


Data indicate that young adult cancer survivors have some unique needs (e.g., multiple competing demands of young adulthood) and preferences (e.g., comfort with remotely delivered interventions) that differentiate them from older cancer survivors. Thus, young survivors would be best served by interventions designed to specifically target this population.


Young adults Behavioral Psychosocial Intervention Format 



Funds for this research were provided by the Centers for Behavioral and Preventive Medicine at Miriam Hospital and the Alpert Medical School of Brown University in Providence, RI, USA.


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Copyright information

© International Society of Behavioral Medicine 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • Carolyn Rabin
    • 1
    • 3
  • Norah Simpson
    • 2
  • Kathleen Morrow
    • 1
  • Bernardine Pinto
    • 1
  1. 1.Centers for Behavioral and Preventive Medicine, Miriam Hospital and Alpert Medical SchoolBrown UniversityProvidenceUSA
  2. 2.Department of PsychiatryStanford UniversityStanfordUSA
  3. 3.ProvidenceUSA

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