, Volume 25, Issue 3, pp 360-370
Date: 05 Mar 2010

How Do Cancer Patients Navigate the Public Information Environment? Understanding Patterns and Motivations for Movement Among Information Sources

Rent the article at a discount

Rent now

* Final gross prices may vary according to local VAT.

Get Access


Little is known about how patients move among information sources to fulfill unmet needs. We interviewed 43 breast, prostate, and colorectal cancer patients. Using a grounded theory approach, we identified patterns and motivations for movement among information sources. Overall, patients reported using one source (e.g., newspaper) followed by the use of another source (e.g., Internet), and five key motivations for such cross-source movement emerged. Patients’ social networks often played a central role in this movement. Understanding how patients navigate an increasingly complex information environment may help clinicians and educators to guide patients to appropriate, high-quality sources.

Anca Romantan; Deceased, April 14, 2008
The authors wish to acknowledge the funding support of the National Cancer Institute’s Center of Excellence in Cancer Communication (CECCR) located at the Annenberg School for Communication, University of Pennsylvania (P50-CA095856-05). This publication’s contents are solely the responsibility of the authors and do not necessarily represent the official views of the National Cancer Institute.