Senior Patients Online: Which Functions Should a Good Patient Website Offer?

  • Nadine Bol
  • Christin Scholz
  • Ellen M. A. Smets
  • Eugène F. Loos
  • Hanneke C. J. M. de Haes
  • Julia C. M. van Weert
Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNCS, volume 8010)


This study proposes a theoretical framework for patient website functions and provides empirical input for the framework. A pilot survey among younger (aged 50 – 64, M = 55.95, SD = 4.48, n = 21) and older (aged 65 – 84, M = 72.79, SD = 6.33, n = 14) cancer patients revealed that patients’ website preferences vary across type of website functions as well as across age groups. Whereas the majority of patients reported high preference for website functions in general (e.g., information provision), preferences varied across preferred delivery methods of these functions. Furthermore, differences in information preferences indicate a trend of younger patients preferring to search information themselves whereas older patients seem to prefer receiving disease relevant information and practical tips. We provide first evidence for patient preferences regarding specific website functions and thus provide practical implications for website design.


aging information preferences patient website functions cancerrelated information 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • Nadine Bol
    • 1
  • Christin Scholz
    • 1
  • Ellen M. A. Smets
    • 2
  • Eugène F. Loos
    • 1
  • Hanneke C. J. M. de Haes
    • 2
  • Julia C. M. van Weert
    • 1
  1. 1.Amsterdam School of Communication Research / ASCoRUniversity of AmsterdamAmsterdamThe Netherlands
  2. 2.Department of Medical Psychology, Academic Medical Center / AMCUniversity of AmsterdamAmsterdamThe Netherlands

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