Why do you tweet about your health? [research study]

I am looking to interview people living with advanced, metastatic, stage IV or chronic cancer who use Twitter to talk, listen, learn, and/or share updates about their health. Please share a link to this post on your Twitter, Facebook, or blog accounts.


Under the supervision of Dr. David Wiljer, this study aims to explore Twitter use among people living with metastatic, advanced, and chronic cancers, and what that means in the lives of those living with a diagnosis.

This study is being conducted by Alaina Cyr to complete a thesis as part of the requirements for earning a master’s degree in Health Services Research at the Institute for Health Policy, Management, & Evaluation at the University of Toronto.

What does participation involve?

Participation involves:

  • one 25- to 40-minute interview by telephone or Skype (your choice)
  • having a conversation about what role, if any, Twitter plays in helping you share your experience, make sense of your diagnosis, and define yourself

You can decide to end your participation at any time, or skip a question should you wish to do so.

Who can participate?

We are looking for volunteers who:

  • are living with a metastatic, stage IV, advanced, or chronic cancer diagnosis
  • use Twitter to talk, learn, or share updates about your health
  • can speak and read English
  • are 18 years old or over

How will my information be used?

All information collected in this study will be held in strict confidence. Your personal information will only be accessible to the investigator, Alaina Cyr. All files will be saved with code names and stored in an encrypted folder. Your identifying information will not be used in any publication or presentation. Identifying information includes things like your name and the names of other people, cities, and hospitals.

This research study is being conducted at the Institute for Health Policy, Management, and Evaluation at the University of Toronto, and is not affiliated with a cancer treatment centre. Your decision to participate or not participate will not impact your clinical care.

For more information or to volunteer:

Contact Alaina Cyr at alaina.cyr@mail.utoronto.ca for more information about this research study.

If you have questions about your rights as a participant, please contact the Research Oversight and Compliance Office – Human Research Ethics Program at ethics.review@utoronto.ca or 416-946-3273.


This research study was reviewed and approved by the Research Ethics Board at the University of Toronto.

To prevent disclosure of personal information, please note that comments must be approved before they appear below.

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