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Do cancer-specific websites meet patient's information needs?

Warren, Emily, Footman, Katharine, Tinelli, Michela ORCID: 0000-0002-8816-4389, McKee, Martin and Knai, Cecile (2014) Do cancer-specific websites meet patient's information needs? Patient Education and Counseling, 95 (1). pp. 126-136. ISSN 0738-3991

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Identification Number: 10.1016/j.pec.2013.12.013


Objective:- To evaluate commonly used cancer websites’ information provision, we developed and applied an Information Comprehensiveness Tool to breast and prostate cancer websites. Methods:- We first collated questions from a systematic literature review on patient information needs. We then classified the questions in terms of spectrum of care, theme, and nature of question. “Breast cancer” and “prostate cancer” were typed into Google, and websites listed on the first page of results were selected. Two researchers, blind to each others’ scores, assessed the same websites using the coding system. Each question was scored on a 3-point scale as not (0%), partially (50%) and fully (100%) answered by two researchers. Average scores were calculated across all questions. Inter-rater reliability was assessed. Results:- We identified 79 general, 5 breast, and 5 prostate cancer questions. Inter-rater reliability was good, with an intraclass coefficient of 0.756 (95% CIs 0.729–0.781). 17 questions were not answered thoroughly by any website. Questions about “future planning”, “monitoring”, and “decision-making” were discussed least. Biomedical questions scored highest. Conclusions:- More comprehensive information needs to be provided on breast and prostate cancer websites. Practice implications:- This ICT can improve cancer information online and enable patients to engage more actively regarding their information needs.

Item Type: Article
Official URL:
Additional Information: © 2014 Elsevier Ireland Ltd.
Divisions: Social Policy
LSE Health
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HE Transportation and Communications
R Medicine > RA Public aspects of medicine > RA0421 Public health. Hygiene. Preventive Medicine
R Medicine > RC Internal medicine > RC0254 Neoplasms. Tumors. Oncology (including Cancer)
Z Bibliography. Library Science. Information Resources > ZA Information resources > ZA4050 Electronic information resources
Date Deposited: 18 Feb 2014 12:49
Last Modified: 20 Oct 2021 03:18
Projects: 242058
Funders: European Union 7th Framework Programme EU Cross Border Care Collaboration (EUCBCC)

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