Illustration: two young persons listening to music

Connect Young

Internet-Based Support for Young People With Cancer.

Project period

2011–2016

Funding

About the project

Teenagers and young adults who have, or have had, cancer face particular challenges meaning that they are in need of support during a phase in which they go through puberty, become independent of their parents, test boundaries and have to make important choices regarding education, work, or starting a family.

The research project Connect Young was initiated in order to develop an online tool that could help young people to cope with the challenges of cancer – before, during and after treatment. Most young people today have internet as an integral part of their lives, they are familiar with computer games and online communication, and feel comfortable with the use of social media. The internet represents an arena in which teenagers and young adults can freely express themselves, experience that they are able to cope, and feel a sense of belonging and acceptance by others.

The tool Connect Young has an interface allowing them to share experiences with other young people in the same situation. Users have access to information about what it means to live with cancer and how they can deal with specific challenges. Since young people often feel that their problems are unique, this tool can provide a sense of normality and control.

The development of Connect Young is based on so-called participatory design, meaning that representatives of the target group actively participate in both design and content of the software.