Journal of Cancer Education

, Volume 32, Issue 3, pp 483–486 | Cite as

The Persistence of the Pamphlet: On the Continued Relevance of the Health Information Pamphlet in the Digital Age



Since the early 2000s, web and digital health information and education has progressed in both volume and innovation (Dutta-Bergman 2006; Mano, Computers in Human Behavior 39 404 412, 2014). A growing number of leading Canadian health institutions (e.g., hospitals, community health centers, and health ministries) are migrating much of their vital public health information and education, once restricted to pamphlets and other physically distributed materials, to online platforms. Examples of these platforms are websites and web pages, eLearning modules, eBooks, streamed classrooms, audiobooks, and online health videos. The steady migration of health information to online platforms is raising important questions for fields of patient education, such as cancer education. These questions include, but are not limited to (a) are pamphlets still a useful modality for patient information and education when so much is available on the Internet? (b) If so, what should be the relationship between print-based and online health information and education, and when should one modality take precedence over the other? This article responds to these questions within the Canadian health care context.


Patient education Health literacy Health equity Digital resources Consumer health information Pamphlet Technology 


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Copyright information

© American Association for Cancer Education 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Patient and Family Education, Princess Margaret Cancer CentreELLICSRTorontoCanada
  2. 2.Radiation Medicine Program, Princess Margaret Cancer CentrePrincess Margaret Cancer CentreTorontoCanada

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