Date of Award

Spring 2018


Capstone - Open Access


Health and Wellness Management

Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)

First Advisor

Allison Higgins


Introduction: Cancer survivorship groups are able to provide a safe space for those who are battling cancer and for those in remission. Facilitators of these programs are reaching emotional thresholds where they feel ill equipped to handle the psychological needs of group participants. Purpose: The purpose of this study is to evaluate the social/emotional training provided to facilitators of the LIVESTRONG at the YMCA program. Methods: Pre and post surveys were administered to nine training participants in order to assess their feelings and perceptions of social and emotional wellness before and after participating in the training. Follow-up interviews were conducted four weeks after program training in order to further evaluate the implementation of the training into the program. Results: Descriptive statistics showed that facilitators are knowledgeable in the significance of social/emotional health, survivor and survivor wellness, and the phases of cancer, but reported limited knowledge in accessing resources to handle emotional overload. Post follow-up interviews with study participants confirmed the following themes toward further expansion of wellness trainings into the program: social/emotional support strategies, incorporating participant connectedness, and establishing self-care. Discussion: Major findings of the study concluded that the participants, as facilitators, felt that they need more support and training towards how to cope with the emotional overload that coincides with working with those living as survivors. Conclusion: The social/emotional training intervention, supports the need for facilitators of the LIVESTRONG program at the YMCA to be provided the skills necessary to defer the detriments of emotional labor.