Cheung Research Lab
Inspired by patient wisdom, we conduct user experience (UX) research to inform human-centered products and services by investigating issues of health equity, financial hardship, and embodied research in psychosocial oncology with emphasis on minoritized adolescent & young adult (AYA) cancer patients. Our goal is to eliminate unnecessary suffering.
– Christabel K. Cheung, PhD, MSW
Project: The After Cancer Study: Social genomics of adolescent and young adult lymphoma survivors
Objective: Identify and define functional genomic pathways through which psychosocial and social environmental risk and resilience factors influence gene regulation in AYA cancer survivors, and thus contribute to a greater understanding of health disparities in post-treatment survivorship.
Results: Reviewed prior studies of social genomics and published findings in a peer-reviewed journal: Social genomics as a framework for understanding health disparities among adolescent and young adult cancer survivors: A commentary.
Journal of Clinical Oncology (2022)
Project: Developing a global patient-centered core outcome set for adolescent and young adult oncology
Objective: Develop a globally validated core outcome set product to measure psychosocial outcomes for teen and young adult cancer patients in collaboration with international partners from the UK and The Netherlands Cancer Institute
Results: Reviewed prior studies of core outcome sets in psychosocial oncology and published findings in a peer-reviewed journal: The next step for global adolescent and young adult oncology: Development of a core patient-centered outcome set
Journal of the National Cancer Institute (2022)
Project: Characterizing online user experiences of teens and young adults after cancer
Objective: Explore and explain the user experiences of teens and young adults to explore and describe how online interactions maybe helpful and/or harmful following a diagnosis of cancer.
Results: Findings from this qualitative study revealed important nuances for product developers and service providers to consider for greater inclusivity of young patients online. Results were published in a peer-reviewed journal: A thin line between helpful and harmful Internet usage: Embodied research on Internet experiences among adolescent and young adult cancer patients
Journal of Adolescent and Young Adult Oncology (2021)
Project: Vital best practices for antiracist patient engagement
Objective: Identify and describe user experiences of underrepresented populations and develop recommendations for policies and practices to dismantle racism and advance antiracist approaches that are co-developed by BIPOC teen and young adult cancer patients and oncology professionals.
Results: Findings from a mixed-methods Delphi study of BIPOC users are currently in review for publication in peer-reviewed journal. Recommendations for antiracist approaches from oncology professionals were published in a peer-reviewed article: A call to action: Antiracist patient engagement in adolescent and young adult oncology research and advocacy
Future Oncology (2021)
Project: The impact of a cancer diagnosis on siblings
Objective: Systematically review the scientific body of literature to date on how a cancer diagnosis effects the well-being of siblings of a cancer patient across the lifespan.
Results: Revealed positive and negative impacts of cancer on the well-being of siblings and gaps in knowledge for future research. Results published in a peer-reviewed journal: Identified The impact of a cancer diagnosis on sibling relationships from childhood through young adulthood: A systematic review
Journal of Family Social Work (2020)
Project: Chapter in Oxford University textbook focused on psychosocial well-being of adolescent and young adult cancer patients
Objective: Led review of scientific evidence on the psychosocial care of adolescent and young adult cancer patients and explicated next steps for future research for oncology clinicians, researchers, and policy makers.
Results: Findings published in chapter 88: Adolescent and young adult patients
Psycho-oncology (4th edition). New York, NY: Oxford University Press. (2021)
Project: Chapter in Oxford University textbook focused on palliative care of adolescents and young adults
Objective: Led review of scientific evidence on palliative and end-of-life care for adolescent and young adult cancer patients and detailed guidelines and practices for health care providers interested in improving clinical encounters.
Results: Findings published in chapter 13: Adolescents and young adults living with serious illness
Oxford Textbook of Palliative Social Work (2nd edition). New York, NY: Oxford University Press (2022)
Project: Exploring teen and young adult preferences for cancer products and services
Objective: Generate user experience findings from teen and young adult cancer patients to inform developers on how to create products consistent with user preferences for cancer information and support.
Results: Findings from mixed-methods study published in Journal of Supportive Care in Cancer (2017)
Project: Understanding financial hardship of young military cancer patients
Objective: Research the user experiences of active-duty military young adult cancer patients to explore and describe how they experience financial hardship following a diagnosis of cancer.
Results: Findings were endorsed by the U.S. Army Medical Command, disseminated across all branches of the U.S. Military, and published in a peer-reviewed journal: Capturing the financial hardship of cancer in military adolescent and young adult patients: A conceptual framework
Journal of Psychosocial Oncology (2021)
Project: The impact of living in low-income areas on cancer outcomes
Objective: Identify and describe the association between living in socioeconomically disadvantaged areas and worse cancer outcomes for cancer patients, even after receiving optimal health care by participating in clinical trials.
Results: Findings from quantitative analysis were presented at a global research conference and published in a peer-reviewed journal: Persistent disparity: Socioeconomic deprivation and cancer outcomes in patients treated in clinical trials
Journal of Clinical Oncology (2021)
Project: Measuring the financial burden of cancer
Objective: Systematically review measurement itools used in empirical studies to assess the financial burden of cancer on adolescent and young adult cancer patients and their caregivers.
Results: Systematic review of financial burden assessment in cancer: Evaluation of measures and utility among adolescents and young adults and caregivers
Project: Young cancer patients as future leaders in the global knowledge economy
Objective: Research user experiences of embodied young cancer patients and make the case for the benefits of their embodied research contributions.
Results: Findings were presented at the 2nd Annual Global AYA Cancer Congress and subsequently published in a peer-reviewed journal: Young cancer patients as future leaders in the global knowledge economy
Project: Podcast Interview for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Societ
Objective: Part Two of a special two-part series in which Dr. Christabel Cheung, a two-time Hodgkin Lymphoma Survivor, talks about her extraordinary struggles as a young adult with cancer and issues of health disparities, racism and racial insensitivity that BIPOC patients experience.
Results: Interview was published in a long-form podcast: Hodgkin’s lymphoma: Struggles of a young adult with cancer with Dr. Christabel Cheung: Part 2
The Bloodline with Leukemia and Lymphoma Society (2021)
Project: Podcast Interview for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society
Objective: Part One of a special two-part series in which Dr. Christabel Cheung, a two-time Hodgkin Lymphoma Survivor, talks about her longtime journey with lymphoma including her struggles within initial diagnosis and relapse as part of a small percentage that didn’t respond to first-line treatment.
Results: Interview was published in a long-form podcast: Hodgkin’s lymphoma: Struggles of a young adult with cancer with Dr. Christabel Cheung: Part 1
The Bloodline with Leukemia and Lymphoma Society (2021)
Project: Antiracist cancer survivorship advice for BIPOC patients
Objective: Authentically discuss the user experiences of BIPOC AYA cancer patients in their interactions with oncology health care providers, researchers, and non-profit advocacy efforts to build community among BIPOC AYA cancer patients and anyone interested in promoting their well-being.
Results: Written discussion was published in a magazine targeted at young-adult audiences: Practically speaking: Antiracist survivorship advice from and for young BIPOC patients
Elephants and Tea Magazine (2020)
Project: Cancer survivorship among young Black women
Objective: Case example of two young Black women whose longtime friendship began before their respective cancer struggles and have left strong imprints on what we know about cancer survivorship for young racially minoritized patients.
Results: Written discussion was published on the Jade Gangster blog and reprinted in a magazine targeted at young-adult audiences: Black girl cancer magic
Elephants and Tea Magazine (2020)