Exploring e-Health Usage and Interest Among Cancer Information Service Users: The Need for Personalized Interactions and Multiple Channels Remains

Fox Chase Cancer Center, Filadelfia, Pennsylvania, United States
Journal of Health Communication (Impact Factor: 1.61). 02/2005; 10 Suppl 1(sup1):35-52. DOI: 10.1080/10810730500265609
Source: PubMed


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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    • "Repeated exposure, even outside the context of motivated information searching, logically may have a cumulative and substantial effect on behavioral choices (Hornik & Niederdeppe, 2008). We admit that this is not a new argument; however, most research on information exposure has focused on deliberate information seeking behavior (e.g., Bright et al., 2005; Muha, Smith, Baum, Ter Maat, & Ward, 1998; Niederdeppe, Frosch, & Hornik, 2008). Our current program of research seeks to capture and understand, more fully, the influence of scanned exposure to health content. "
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    ABSTRACT: Research on health information exposure focuses primarily on deliberate information-seeking behavior and its effects on health. By contrast, this study explores the complementary and perhaps more influential role of health information acquired through exposure to routinely used sources, called scanning. The authors hypothesized that scanning from nonmedical sources, both mediated and interpersonal, affects cancer screening and prevention decisions. The authors used a nationally representative longitudinal survey of 2,489 adults 40 to 70 years of age to analyze the effects of scanning on 3 cancer screening behaviors (mammography, prostate-specific antigen [PSA], and colonoscopy) and 3 prevention behaviors (exercising, eating fruits and vegetables, and dieting to lose weight). After adjustment for baseline behaviors and covariates, scanning at baseline predicted weekly exercise days 1 year later as well as daily fruit and vegetable servings 1 year later for those whose consumption of fruits and vegetables was already higher at baseline. Also, among those reporting timely screening mammogram behavior at baseline, scanning predicted repeat mammography. Scanning was marginally predictive of PSA uptake among those not reporting a PSA at baseline. Although there were strong cross-sectional associations, scanning did not predict dieting or colonoscopy uptake in longitudinal analyses. These analyses provide substantial support for a claim that routine exposure to health content from nonmedical sources affects specific health behaviors.
    Full-text · Article · Oct 2013 · Journal of Health Communication
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    • "Particularly with regard to use of the Internet, females [10] [11], those with higher levels of education [12] [13] [14], and greater income [15] [16] [17] are more likely to search for health information. In addition, health information seeking is often associated with being of a Caucasian racial background [18] [19], a younger age [15] [17] [20], or of greater health literacy [21]. Such difference in access to information on the basis of socioeconomic factors is known as the digital divide [22]. "
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    ABSTRACT: Outlines the methods and measures commonly used to study active health information seeking and prescribes important considerations in advancing the study of patient information seeking. A systematic review of the literature from 1978 to 2010. A single bibliometric database, PsychInfo, identified 648 articles of health information seeking. The 129 articles included in the review were coded by type of sample, measures (n=12) utilized to study health information seeking, and types of study methods (n=5). A majority of studies used non-clinical samples and measured general health information seeking (i.e., whether the participant engaged in a search for health information) through cross-sectional study designs. There are varying samples, measures, and designs used to identify those who do or do not seek health information. Future research should look into how health information seeking influences health management and should uncover the social and relational functions of health information seeking using more advanced (and less routinely applied) measures and methods of studying health information seeking. More people are actively searching for health information and health providers should address this in their discussions with patients.
    Full-text · Article · Mar 2011 · Patient Education and Counseling
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    • "Whereas user participation has been embraced worldwide as a means to provide better patient outcomes by policy makers and health service administrators alike, the successful implementation of formative, participatory approaches in online health information has remained under-explored. Although the growing demand for appropriate consumer health information on the Internet has been the topic of much recent medical, social science and information science literature (Pereira et al. 2001; Basch et al. 2004; Bleakley et al. 2004; Brotherton 2004; Dickerson et al. 2004; Mick 2004; Ziebland et al. 2004; Balmer 2005; Bright et al. 2005; Doney et al. 2005; Escoffery et al. 2005; Rees 2005), there has been a noticeable absence of reports that describe how to adequately design such online resources. What is more, the outcomes of online health information ventures have been extremely uneven and a growing body of literature alerts to the questionable quality of content, language, site maintenance, and accessibility provided by health information sites (Sullivan et al. 2003; Birru and Steinman 2004; Felber 2004; Fikar and Keith 2004; Friedman et al. 2004; Ilic et al. 2004; Jorgensen and Gotzsche 2004; Molassiotis and Xu 2004; Morahan-Martin 2004; Nahm et al. 2004; Weissenberger et al. 2004; Weissenberger and Schultze-Seemann 2004; Zeng and Parmanto 2004; Boulos 2005; Changrani and Gany 2005; Ekman et al. 2005; Simon and Hegedus 2005; Viswanath 2005). "
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    ABSTRACT: Whereas user participation has been embraced worldwide as a means to provide better patient outcomes, the implementation of formative, action research approaches in online health information has remained under-explored. The purpose of this study is to present an action research-based methodology that allows the scoping of health information and design needs in complex, multi-user online environments. The project's four main stages were informed by an iterative, formative approach involving continuous expert and user evaluation. The study suggests that an action research-inspired formative approach can be successfully employed to generate user-participation. Moreover, sustained user-participation effectively addresses most quality issues regarding content, language, and accessibility raised in the recent literature. The paper concludes that an action research approach geared to develop online health resources deserves more attention.
    Full-text · Article · Mar 2007 · Systemic Practice and Action Research
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