Date of Award

January 2013

Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)



First Advisor

Kimberly J. Cowden


More people are surviving cancer than ever before due to early detection and advances in treatment (Kazanjian, Smillie, Howard, Ward and Doll, 2009). With a growing group of cancer survivors, a group expected to grow to 18 million by 2020, additional informational resources must be put in place (Cancer Survivorship Training, 2013). This study seeks to better understand 1) where cancer patients and survivors are finding cancer resources, 2) what computer-mediated communication channels they use and prefer and 3) who they trust the most to educate and recruit them for clinical trials. Twenty in-depth interviews were conducted and analyzed with cancer patients and survivors from the HUGS Cancer Survivorship Program, a pseudonym, at a mid-sized, mid-western hospital to comprehend these questions. The study revealed that cancer patients and survivors are selective in their media choices and these choices are based on a variety of factors. It also reinforced the current literature that physicians are the most valued resource in learning more about cancer clinical trials. Sensitive health content impacts an individual's use of social media tools, which ultimately determines one's willingness to be recruited via social media sites for clinical trials.