Supportive Care in Cancer

, Volume 26, Issue 4, pp 1305–1313 | Cite as

Prevalence and correlates of health information-seeking among Hispanic and non-Hispanic childhood cancer survivors

  • Kimberly A. Miller
  • Cynthia N. Ramirez
  • Katherine Y. Wojcik
  • Anamara Ritt-Olson
  • Lourdes Baezconde-Garbanati
  • Stefanie M. Thomas
  • David R. Freyer
  • Ann S. Hamilton
  • Joel E. Milam
Original Article



Childhood cancer survivors (CCS) report high unmet information needs. This study examined the prevalence of cancer-related information-seeking among CCS and investigated associations between information-seeking behavior and positive health outcomes such as follow-up care.


Participants (n = 193) were young adult CCS diagnosed with cancer in Los Angeles County, 54% of Hispanic ethnicity, with a mean age of 19.87, in remission, and at least 2 years from completion of treatment. CCS were asked where they accessed health information related to their cancer with response options categorized into four information domains: hospital resources, social media, other survivors, and family members. Multivariable logistic regression was used to assess variables associated with each information domain, including sociodemographics, post-traumatic growth (i.e., reporting positive changes since cancer diagnosis), health care engagement, level of education, and health insurance status.


Hospital resources were the most commonly accessed information domain (65.3%), and CCS of Hispanic ethnicity (vs. non-Hispanic) were more likely to access this source. Seeking information from other cancer survivors was positively associated with follow-up care and post-traumatic growth. Hispanic CCS were marginally less likely to seek information from other survivors and family than non-Hispanics.


While CCS obtain information from a variety of sources, hospital resources are an important site for access, particularly for individuals of Hispanic ethnicity. Information sharing between survivors may promote positive health care engagement; however, Hispanic CCS may be less likely to utilize this resource and may face barriers in information sharing with other cancer survivors.


Child Adolescent Young adult Cancer Survivorship Hispanic ethnicity Health information-seeking 



This paper was supported by the Whittier Foundation and 1R01MD007801 from the National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities of the National Institutes of Health. Additional support was provided by P30CA014089 and T32CA009492 from the National Cancer Institute of the National Institutes of Health. The content is solely the responsibility of the authors and does not necessarily represent the official views of the National Institutes of Health.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Research involving human participants and/or animals

All procedures performed in studies involving human participants were in accordance with the ethical standards of the institutional and/or national research committee and with the 1964 Helsinki declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards. This article does not contain any studies with animals performed by any of the authors.

Informed consent

Informed consent was obtained from all individual participants included in the study.

Financial disclosures

The authors of this paper report no financial disclosures.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Kimberly A. Miller
    • 1
    • 2
  • Cynthia N. Ramirez
    • 1
  • Katherine Y. Wojcik
    • 1
  • Anamara Ritt-Olson
    • 1
  • Lourdes Baezconde-Garbanati
    • 1
  • Stefanie M. Thomas
    • 3
    • 4
  • David R. Freyer
    • 3
    • 4
    • 5
  • Ann S. Hamilton
    • 1
  • Joel E. Milam
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Preventive MedicineKeck School of Medicine of the University of Southern CaliforniaLos AngelesUSA
  2. 2.Department of DermatologyKeck School of Medicine of the University of Southern CaliforniaLos AngelesUSA
  3. 3.Department of PediatricsKeck School of Medicine of the University of Southern CaliforniaLos AngelesUSA
  4. 4.Children’s Center for Cancer and Blood DiseasesChildren’s Hospital Los AngelesLos AngelesUSA
  5. 5.USC Norris Comprehensive Cancer CenterLos AngelesUSA

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