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LADDER is an abbreviation for ‘Life After Diagnosis and Descriptors of Experience and Responses’. An individual’s cancer experience is unique and influenced by a wide range of issues that may affect a person’s response to a cancer diagnosis. As the number of cancer survivors in Kentucky grows, we wish to gain a better understanding of the cancer experience. By inviting participants across the Commonwealth of Kentucky a diverse geographic culture is represented and our results can help to guide strategies to improve outcomes—quality of life, follow-up care, and survival—in this ever growing population.

The goal of the LADDER Study is to recruit and enroll men and women over the age of 18 years, living in Kentucky, newly diagnosed with cancer within the past 12 months. Compensation is available for participants completing the study. The purpose of the survey is to capture positive and negative impacts of cancer and cancer treatment on the lives, experiences, health and wellbeing within the first year of diagnosis. In addition, as experiences can change over time, we anticipate this study will provide solid support for future web-based research in Kentucky, and the ability to expand this important study.

Frequently Asked Questions
According to the National Cancer Institute, at the time of their diagnosis a person is a cancer survivor. By using this definition, we can evaluate a survivor’s experience at various stages of their cancer journey: before, during, and after treatment.

The study is led by Dr. Stephanie Boone, a Kentucky Native, with a team of researchers from the University of Louisville School of Public Health & Information Sciences, UofL Health Brown Cancer Center, and UofL’s Information Technology Services.

You can call Dr. Stephanie Boone at (502) 852-2257 or email the study team at

The time will vary based on your experience. Generally, the study takes approximately 20-25 minutes to complete. You can exit and return to the study at any time during the study period.

Click ‘Enroll in LADDER Study’. An informed consent document will appear for your review. By selecting ‘Yes’, this means that you willingly choose to participate and the survey is made available to you. You can complete this study all in one sitting or exit and return at your convenience using a unique PIN that is provided.

Your responses are kept confidential in a secure, encrypted study database that only study staff have access to. You are assigned a unique identification number (PIN). Only the study team has access to the link between your ID number and your personal identification.

At this time, all data collection efforts are through our online platform on this website. We hope to be able to collect information using other methods in the future.

All of your responses are valuable to the success of the study, however, it is your choice as to whether you wish to respond to a question. You are able to select that you prefer to not respond to any question included in the survey. You can choose to exit the study and stop taking part at any point.

If you lose your PIN, you can call the study team to retrieve it. Due to security measures, we cannot email your PIN.

We ask about physical health and wellbeing, lifestyle, cancer diagnosis and treatment, follow-up care, and experience. We also ask about your thoughts and emotions. Lastly, we ask general questions about your community.

Yes. The survey can be completed on a desktop computer or on a mobile device (cell phone or tablet) that is connected to an Internet service.

By combining answers, we will present findings collectively, not by individual participant. Including as many participants as possible allows researchers to better study scientific questions and to determine successful data collection methods. Results will be shared with local and state partners and submitted to peer-reviewed scientific journals for publication.

Upon 100% completion of online survey our study staff will send participants a one-time $15 payment in the form of an e-gift card. A claim code will be sent to the email address entered at enrollment. To ensure messages are allowed from the study email address please add to your safe senders list.