Supportive Care in Cancer

, Volume 19, Issue 9, pp 1465–1469

What kind of cancer information do Internet users need?

  • Juhee Cho
  • Hang-In Noh
  • Myung Hwa Ha
  • Se Na Kang
  • Jin-young Choi
  • Yoon Jung Chang
Short Communication



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.


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.


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.


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.


Cancer information Information need Information source Internet 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • Juhee Cho
    • 1
    • 2
    • 3
  • Hang-In Noh
    • 4
  • Myung Hwa Ha
    • 5
  • Se Na Kang
    • 4
  • Jin-young Choi
    • 6
  • Yoon Jung Chang
    • 4
  1. 1.Cancer Education CenterSamsung Medical CenterSeoulSouth Korea
  2. 2.Department of Health, Behavior and SocietyJohns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public HealthBaltimoreUSA
  3. 3.Department of EpidemiologyJohns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public HealthBaltimoreUSA
  4. 4.Cancer Information and Education Branch, Division of Cancer Control, National Cancer Control InstituteNational Cancer CenterGoyangRepublic of Korea
  5. 5.Department of Preventive MedicineNational Cancer CenterGoyangRepublic of Korea
  6. 6.Hospice and Palliative Care Branch, Division of Cancer Policy and ManagementNational Cancer CenterGoyangRepublic of Korea

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