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

Warren, E; Footman, K; Tinelli, M; McKee, M; Knai, C; (2013) Do cancer-specific websites meet patient's information needs? Patient education and counseling, 95 (1). pp. 126-36. ISSN 0738-3991 DOI:

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OBJECTIVE: To evaluate commonly used cancer websites' information provision, we developed and applied an Information Comprehensiveness Tool to breast and prostate cancer websites.<br/> 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.<br/> 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.<br/> CONCLUSIONS: More comprehensive information needs to be provided on breast and prostate cancer websites.<br/> PRACTICE IMPLICATIONS: This ICT can improve cancer information online and enable patients to engage more actively regarding their information needs.<br/>

Item Type: Article
Faculty and Department: Faculty of Public Health and Policy > Dept of Health Services Research and Policy
Faculty of Public Health and Policy > Dept of Social and Environmental Health Research
Research Centre: ECOHOST - The Centre for Health and Social Change
Centre for Global Non-Communicable Diseases (NCDs)
PubMed ID: 24447523
Web of Science ID: 334088300015


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