, Volume 19, Issue 9, pp 1465-1469
Date: 30 Jun 2011

What kind of cancer information do Internet users need?

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Abstract

Purpose

The Internet becomes one of the most effective communication media in healthcare. This study aimed to evaluate the cancer information sources and the needs of various types of Internet users.

Methods

We conducted a survey on the National Cancer Information Center website from April 2007 to December 2007. Of the 170,746 visitors, 507 responded to the survey, and the data were analyzed according to self-identified user types.

Results

The participants identified themselves as patients (17%), caregivers (32%), healthcare professionals (21%), or general public (30%). Different user groups looked for different cancer information. Totally, 72.1% patients and 82% caregivers wanted the information about treatment, and 71.3% of healthcare professionals and 88.2% of the general public wanted the information related to ‘prevention & diagnosis.’ Healthcare professionals had a higher need for “statistics & research” information compared to other Internet user groups. The Internet was reported as the most common source of cancer information for all user groups.

Conclusions

The type of cancer information needed and the usefulness of the information acquired on the Internet varied among the different types of user groups, suggesting that Web-based cancer information should be tailored to each type of user.

Juhee Cho and Hang-In Noh contributed equally to this study.
The survey was published in the Korean Cancer Association, 34th Annual Meeting of Korean Cancer Association, Vol. 40 (Supplement 1), June 2008.