An Evaluation of the Information Sources of Cancer Patients’ Relatives. A Prospective Survey

  • Süleyman Yıldırım
  • Seher Nazlı Kazaz
  • Hüseyin Salih Semiz
  • Tuğba Yavuzşen
  • Işıl Somalı
  • Hülya Ellidokuz
  • İlhan Öztop


Patients followed up with a cancer diagnosis must be well-informed about cancer to be able to cope with it. Besides, informing the relatives of the cancer patients who are also experiencing the same process about the diagnosis and follow-up period of cancer is highly important. In the current study, it was aimed to evaluate the information sources about cancer which are referred to by relatives of cancer patients. Three hundred ninety-one cancer patient relatives were included in medical oncology clinic between May 1 and June 30, 2015. A questionnaire was applied to the participants, comprising 12 questions to elicit demographic information and 11 questions about the information sources to which they referred. The study included 183 female and 208 male participants with a mean age of 47.9 ± 13.6 years. While the oncologists were the primary information sources referred to by 87%, the Internet was the second most preferred information source by 72%. The websites most frequently referred were the official websites (70%), the websites of oncology associations (53%), and social networks and forums (32%). The primary factors affecting the Internet preference were age, education level, income level, and place of residence. The Internet was the second most referred information source about cancer by family caregivers following oncologists. Therefore, it is of crucial importance that physicians inform patients and their relatives comprehensively as well as guiding them to correct and reliable information sources.


Cancer Family caregiver Alternative information sources Internet 



We thank Dr. Hüseyin Oğuz Yılmaz for his help on critical revision and editing of the manuscript.

Compliance with Ethical Standards


The authors declare that the submitted work is their own and that copyright has not been breached in seeking its publication. They confirm that the article is an original work, has not been published before, and is not being considered for publication elsewhere in its final form, in either printed or electronic media.

Conflict of Interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.


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Copyright information

© American Association for Cancer Education 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Dr. Suat Seren Chest Diseases and Thoracic Surgery Training and Research HospitalIzmirTurkey
  2. 2.Department of Medical OncologyKanuni Training and Research HospitalTrabzonTurkey
  3. 3.School of Medicine, Department of Medical OncologyDokuz Eylul UniversityIzmirTurkey
  4. 4.Institute of Oncology, Department of Preventive OncologyDokuz Eylul UniversityIzmirTurkey

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