Study looking for teens with cancer

The Greater Good Studio, which does research and design for social impact, is seeking teens (13-18) with cancer for a two-month study for the University of Chicago and UCLA.

The goal of the study, according to research director Sara Cantor Aye, is to “better understand how teens with cancer use technology to understand, capture and share their experiences.”

The study is looking at how teens get support, not treatment.

Aye points out that children with cancer and their families often have a lot of resources at their disposal for support and wellness, while adults have the ability to find their own resources. Teens, though, “are sort of an under represented group when it comes to cancer support,” says Aye.

“More importantly,” she adds, “technology is where they thrive.”

The study has two goals. Short term, Greater Good and their academic clients want to learn more about the population of teens with cancer. Long term, they want to be able to develop “tech tools that would improve the quality of life for teens with cancer” that would “focus more on the experience of going through this crippling disease when you’re also at a vulnerable point socially,” says Aye.

The study will take about two weeks for each participant. At the beginning, researchers will travel to teens’ homes for a 90-minute interview with the teens. Kids will then be given a camera and a journal and a bit of instruction on how to document their experiences and use of technology. Two weeks later, the researchers will come back for another 90-minute interview.

Aye is aware of the fact that the study itself may change the perception of a teen with cancer. “Doing ethnographic interviews is often therapeutic for people because they get a really empathetic listener.”

Teens who are interested should have their parent or guardian call 773/599-9717, or click to Greater Good Studio to apply.

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