Publication Date


Document Type

Masters Thesis


School for Social Work


Cancer-Online chat groups, Cancer-Patients-Psychology, Social work with the terminally ill, Qualitative research, Advanced cancer, Stage IV, Unmet needs, Online narratives, Illness blogs, Clinical social work


This exploratory-descriptive study set out to identify the unmet needs of people living with advanced cancer, and how those needs might be addressed by clinical social workers. To this end, the previous literature on this topic was reviewed, and the online illness narratives of ten people living with advanced cancer were examined. The narratives, which portrayed the lived experiences of the population at the heart of this study, were then compared and contrasted with previous research findings to identify areas of need that have not been mentioned in the literature and/or require additional attention and resources. The existing literature and the blog data from the current study revealed that people with late-stage cancer have many unmet needs that negatively impact their quality of life. This study also found that clinical social workers possess the knowledge, skills, and values to provide effective interventions that can improve quality and continuity of care, and reduce suffering for this population.




iii, 93 pages. Thesis (M.S.W.)--Smith College School for Social Work, 2015. Includes bibliographical references (pages 88-93)