, Volume 17, Issue 10, pp 1277-1283
Date: 27 Jan 2009

Cervical cancer patient information-seeking behaviors, information needs, and information sources in South Korea

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The aim of this study was to explore the cancer information needs, utilization, and source preferences in South Korean women with cervical cancer.

Patients and methods

This was a multicenter descriptive study comprising 968 cervical cancer patients (stages 0–IVb; mean age, 55 years; response rate, 34.4% of those who agreed to participate) who had been treated from 1983 through 2004 at any of the six South Korean hospitals. The study data were obtained through a mail-in self-response questionnaire that asked about the patients’ cancer information needs, cancer-information-seeking behavior, information sources, and type of information needed. It also collected data about anxiety and depression.


Of the 968 cervical cancer patients, 404 (41.7%) had sought cancer information. When patients felt a need for information, their information-seeking behavior increased (overall risk = 4.053, 95% confidence interval = 2.139–7.680). Television and/or radio were the most frequently cited sources, and narratives about cancer experiences were the most easily understood forms of cancer information. More younger patients preferred booklets and pamphlets, while more older patients preferred television and radio. The most needed cancer information at the time of diagnosis and treatment involved diagnosis, stage, and prognosis while after treatment ended it involved self-care techniques.


Cervical cancer patients’ need of cancer information varied with age and treatment phase. These findings should help guide the development of educational materials tailored to the needs of individual patients.