Background and Context:The inability of a facilitator to pursue online interactions with the users of the French League Against Cancer’s Forum, led to a service reorientation. Users’ discontentment prompted the need of appraising their opinions to inform further administrative intern actions.
Aim:To explore the overall experiences of using the League’s forum and collect users’ suggestions to improve the Forum as a tool for cancer public service.
Strategy/Tactics:An original questionnaire was developed assembling our expertise in cancer public education, health literacy, and social inequities in accessing health services. The questionnaire composed of 18 questions explored socio-demographics, general profile as a user, type and extension of participation, benefices and suggestions.
Programme/Policy Process:The questionnaire was pilot tested with 3 staff experienced with cancer public services. Upon approval of the League’s President, it was formally presented to the Board of Directors to be criticized, revised for culturally-sensitive language and questions’ appropriateness. The questionnaire was posted on the League’s webpage with a special announce and link (June-October 2013). Reponses from 56 respondents were analyzed though descriptive statistics and the method of content analysis was used to extract meanings of their suggestions.
Outcomes/What was learned:The participation of a small sample was equally relevant for a qualitative, critical review of work philosophy/policy. Participants’ trust on the League’s respectability was a factor of using the Forum and seeking of emotional support on it. Since an online forum should offer conditions for survivors’ networking and exchange, the provision of indirect professional monitoring seemed to undermine the development of cancer-related community capacity building. Community initiatives led by survivors assuming the social leadership for self-help, information-sharing and social advocacy should be the focus of community empowerment actions. Cancer organizations should avoid a downstream approach that reinforces the hegemony of the professional expertise.