Sunday, January 30, 2011

DEGREE PROJECT | Assumptions + Experiments 02

Based upon the discussion of my previous assumptions and experiments, a slight shift in focus upon the subject matter has taken place. We determined that they key, in this demographic, is much larger than simply lifestyle choices, it is early diagnosis and redirecting the belief / connotation of young adults being invincible and invulnerable that is determined by themselves as well as doctors and heath care providers. Obviously, wrapped up in this is the subject of lifestyle choices which I think will become a preceding factor that results by tackling the more prominent issues of early diagnosis.

The four main focuses I would like to take from here forward are...
01. self-initiative and responsibility
02. health care / doctor relationships – communication
03. invincibility / invulnerability
04. gap in care


ASSUMPTIONS
a. – The young adult demographic feels invincible from a disease such as cancer.
b. – Doctors and health care providers also perceive young adults with an invulnerability to cancer.
c. – Young adults simply ignore flu or cold-like symptoms in hopes it will dissipate on it's own; in addition to frequent headaches and dull bodily aches and pains.
d. – Young adults don't consider lifestyle choices such as nutrition, exercise, alcohol, and smoking as something that could contribute to a cancer diagnosis.
e. – There is truly a gap in care that affects young adults in-between pediatric and adult health care.
f. – Some may blame changes in health to stress or fear of over-reacting if making an appointment with a doctor.
g. – Young adults busy with school, work, and life put their health and getting check-ups on hold.
h. – Young adults are unprepared to manage and experience such a life-threatening illness.
i. – Doctors view young adults as being too young to have cancer and it is an unusual and rare occurrence.
j. – There is a lack of education and knowledge about cancer that leads to cancer fatalism, the idea that 'everything causes cancer'.


EXPERIMENTS
– questionnaire – Utilizing the student body as well as social media to get responses to assumptions carried by young adults about cancer.

01. When you think of cancer do you think "that could never happen to me"?

02. Between the ages of 18 and 23 is being diagnosed with cancer even something you consider?

03. Do you often ignore subtle changes in heath (cold symptoms, aches & pains, headaches) and rarely seek a doctor because you are too busy or not worried? What if they persist?

04. Do you regularly get a check-up at your doctor? Is general health maintenance something you apply a significant focus to?

05. Are you currently enrolled in a health insurance program; your own or your parents?

06. Would you consider lifestyle choices such as nutrition, exercise, alcohol, and smoking to contribute to cancer?

07. What do you think causes cancer?

– Information graphic displaying statistic from the questionnaire

– Interviews within the cancer community
a. Erica Brown (President of Livestrong Army KC, Associate Development Director at KU Endowment Association)

b. Michael Johnson (Cancer advocate - Sunflowers to Roses,  Director of Major Gifts at Children's Mercy Hospitals)

– Interactive print expressing one day is all it takes for a yearly check-up (statistically driven)
1/365 days
1/8760 hours
Save the Date cards
- 'cancer will save the date'
- play on purpose / format of traditional 'Save the Date' card

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