Journal of Cancer Education

, Volume 31, Issue 3, pp 610–616 | Cite as

Information Needs of Cancer Patients and Perception of Impact of the Disease, of Self-Efficacy, and Locus of Control

  • C. Keinki
  • E. Seilacher
  • M. Ebel
  • D. Ruetters
  • I. Kessler
  • J. Stellamanns
  • I. Rudolph
  • J. Huebner


The aim of our study was to investigate the relationship between information needs and cancer patients’ perceptions of the impact of the disease, self-efficacy, and locus of control. Using a standardized questionnaire, we obtained data from patients who attended a series of lectures. The questionnaire included questions on their information needs, sources of information, satisfaction with information, and short questionnaires on self-efficacy, perception of the disease, and locus of control of reinforcement. Data was obtained from 185 patients. Our results showed that the sources of information that were most often used were physicians (84 %), print media (68 %), and the Internet (59 %); online fora (7.5 %), non-medical practitioners (9.7 %), and telephone-based counseling (8.6 %) were only used by a minority. Patients with a high perception of their own control over the disease more often used any source of information available to them and were more often interested in acquiring additional information. Higher self-efficacy was significantly associated with the need for information on all topics. Patients with a higher external locus of control significantly more often used sources of information and had significantly more need for additional information. By contrast, there were no associations with an internal locus of control. Neither external nor internal locus of control showed any associations with satisfaction with information. Information needs seem to be higher in patients with a high external locus of control and low self-efficacy. Physicians, other professionals, and institutions that provide information may take these relationships into consideration for tailoring their services to patients.


Neoplasm Patient Information needs Self-efficacy Perception of disease Locus of control of reinforcement 


Conflict of Interest

The authors declare that they have no competing interests.

Supplementary material

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Copyright information

© American Association for Cancer Education 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  • C. Keinki
    • 2
  • E. Seilacher
    • 2
  • M. Ebel
    • 1
  • D. Ruetters
    • 2
  • I. Kessler
    • 2
  • J. Stellamanns
    • 2
  • I. Rudolph
    • 2
  • J. Huebner
    • 1
  1. 1.Working Group Integrative Oncology, Dr. Senckenberg Chronomedical InstituteJ.W. Goethe UniversityFrankfurtGermany
  2. 2.German Cancer SocietyBerlinGermany

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