Information needs and sources of information among cancer patients: a systematic review of research (1980-2003)

Division of Cancer Prevention, National Cancer Institute, 6130 Executive Blvd., EPN 4051A, MSC 7365, Bethesda, MD 20892, USA.
Patient Education and Counseling (Impact Factor: 2.6). 07/2005; 57(3):250-61. DOI: 10.1016/j.pec.2004.06.006
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Understanding what cancer patients need to know and from whom they receive information during the course of care is essential to ensuring quality care. We reviewed 112 articles published from 1980 to 2003 and developed a typology summarizing cancer patients' information needs and the sources from which they receive information. The majority of articles focused on information needs and sources during the diagnosis and treatment phase. Thus, the most frequent information need was treatment-related (38.1%). The most frequent information source was health professionals (27.3%). We examined patients' information needs and sources along the continuum of care and found that during diagnosis and treatment, information needs about the stage of disease, treatment options, and side-effects of treatment were prominent; during post-treatment, patients continued to need information about treatment, and information about recovery was also important. Future research should examine cancer patients' information needs and sources throughout their cancer journey.

  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: The Internet has become an important source of health-related information for consumers, among whom younger women constitute a notable group. The aims of this study were (1) to evaluate the quality and readability of online information about gynecologic cancer using validated instruments and (2) to relate the quality of information to its readability. Using the Alexa Rank, we obtained a list of 35 Web pages providing information about 7 gynecologic malignancies. These were assessed using the Health on the Net (HON) seal of approval, the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) benchmarks, and the DISCERN instrument. Flesch readability score was calculated for sections related to symptoms and signs and treatment. Less than 30% of the Web pages displayed the HON seal or achieved all JAMA benchmarks. The majority of the treatment sections were of moderate to high quality according to the DISCERN. There was no significant relationship between the presence of the HON seal and readability. Web pages achieving all JAMA benchmarks were significantly more difficult to read and understand than Web pages that missed any of the JAMA benchmarks. Treatment-related content of moderate to high quality as assessed by the DISCERN had a significantly better readability score than the low-quality content. The online information about gynecologic cancer provided by the most frequently visited Web pages is of variable quality and in general difficult to read and understand. The relationship between the quality and readability remains unclear. Health care providers should direct their patients to reliable material online because patients consider the Internet as an important source of information.
    International Journal of Gynecological Cancer 02/2015; DOI:10.1097/IGC.0000000000000362 · 1.95 Impact Factor
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Providing information about cancer prevention might increase awareness of prevention and promote preventive behaviours. A better understanding about the prevalence and preferences of obtaining information about cancer might help to identify targeted individuals and design effective strategies for promoting cancer-preventive behaviours. Thus, the present study examined the prevalence and correlates of obtaining information about cancer among Japanese adults, and described preferences including source and content. Data were analysed for 3,058 Japanese adults (mean age 45.0 ± 13.4 years) who responded to an Internet-based cross-sectional survey. The data included whether information about cancer had been obtained, sources, preference for content, sociodemographic variables, health status, and cancer histories. Force-entry logistic regression analysis was used. Overall, 46.7% of respondents had obtained information about cancer. Gender, age, and education level were statistically significant correlates of doing so. Women were more likely to obtain information (OR = 1.97) as were older age groups (40-49: OR = 1.54, 50-59: OR = 2.27, 60-69: OR = 3.83), those with higher education (2 years college or equivalent degree: OR = 1.31, college graduate or higher: OR = 1.48) and those with having cancer histories (personal: OR = 3.52, family: OR = 1.57, friends/co-worker: OR = 2.09). The most prevalent source of information about cancer was mass media. Content of prevention is most needed among inconsistent contents with the frequently obtained contents. Less than half of the respondents information about cancer. The finding suggests that better health communication strategies would be necessary to inform Japanese people about cancer. Understanding which subgroups were less likely to obtain information and preferences of information might be effective in promoting cancer prevention.
    BMC Public Health 12/2015; 15(1):1510. DOI:10.1186/s12889-015-1510-2 · 2.32 Impact Factor
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: The adoption and implementation of information technology are dramatically remodeling healthcare services all over the world, resulting in an unstoppable and sometimes overwhelming process. After the introduction of the main elements of electronic health records and a description of what every cancer-care professional should be familiar with, we present a narrative review focusing on the current use of computerized clinical information and decision systems in oncology practice. Following a detailed analysis of the many coveted goals that oncologists have reached while embracing informatics progress, the authors suggest how to overcome the main obstacles for a complete physicians' engagement and for a full information technology adoption, and try to forecast what the future holds.
    Cancer informatics 01/2014; 13:131-9. DOI:10.4137/CIN.S12417

Full-text (2 Sources)

Available from
Jun 6, 2014