Exploring e-Health usage and interest among cancer information service users: the need for personalized interactions and multiple channels remains.

Office of Cancer Information Service, National Cancer Institute, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, Maryland 20892-8322, USA.
Journal of Health Communication (Impact Factor: 1.61). 02/2005; 10 Suppl 1:35-52. DOI: 10.1080/10810730500265609
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Since searching for health information is among the most popular uses of the Internet, we analyzed a survey of 6,019 callers to the National Cancer Institute's (NCI's) Cancer Information Service (CIS) to assess Internet usage and interest in technologies to access health and cancer information. Findings suggest that about 40% of CIS callers used the Internet to obtain cancer information and, of these, only about 20% found all the information they sought. Nearly 33% of Internet users called the CIS to discuss information found on the Internet; most (>90%) reported that the CIS was helpful. Those who sought cancer information on the Internet were more likely to call the CIS about this information if they found all or most of the information they were seeking, compared with those who found some or little of the information. New communication services endorsed by most CIS callers included e-mails from an information specialist and telephone support from the CIS while on the Internet. The survey results indicate the importance of multiple access points, both traditional and technology based, and that there is still a need for more traditional, personalized forms of health communication. A crucial question is how best to harness and integrate these new technologies within the current generation of mediated health information systems.

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