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Participants sought for cancer communication study

Emerson College is participating in a large-scale study that seeks to understand how cancer patients, survivors, and their families manage and communicate about the cancer journey.

Researchers in the “Managing the Cancer Journey” study are looking for volunteers to participate. They are inviting anyone over age 18, especially those whose lives have been touched by cancer, to participate by attending a session on Saturday, November 16, and Sunday, November 17, at 1:30 pm both days, at the Bright Family Screening Room of the Paramount Center, 559 Washington St., Boston.

Participants may attend on either day and each person will receive $50. A parking voucher will be given to those who drive to the event.

To make a reservation to participate, you can call 617-952-8224, sign up online, or email Seating is limited for both sessions. Reservations are made on a first come, first served basis.

Participants will view one of two DVDs about 70 minutes long that explore things like cancer diagnosis, treatment, nutrition, exercise, family communication, and end-of-life issues. They will complete a brief questionnaire before and after the viewing, be invited to participate in a “talkback session” and complete another brief questionnaire one month after the study.

“[The DVDs] explore a range of issues,” said Wayne Beach, principal investigator for the story, and professor of communication at San Diego University, “including many of the central concerns that are often not discussed openly among cancer patients, survivors, and family members. These issues can be vital for better managing trials, tribulations, hopes, and triumphs of cancer diagnosis, treatment, and prognosis.”

A $1.6 million grant awarded to San Diego University and Klein Buendel, Inc., by the National Cancer Institute (NCI) is funding the “Managing the Cancer Journey” study.

“This is a compelling research study,” said Phillip Glenn, the project’s Boston site coordinator who is dean of Emerson’s School of Communication and professor in the Department of Communication Studies. “It promises advances in understanding the roles that communication and social support play in helping individuals throughout their journey with cancer.”

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