Author(s): Kowalczyk N, Draper LJ
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Abstract BACKGROUND: Americans have access to medical information from a variety of sources, including readily accessible information on the Internet. As the American population's trust in online sources changes over time, it is possible that their cancer information-seeking preferences and behaviors also may change. OBJECTIVES: The purpose of this study is to assess longitudinal trends in cancer information-seeking preferences and behaviors based on data collected in 3 Health Information National Trends Surveys (HINTS) administered by the National Cancer Institute. METHODS: This is a retrospective secondary data analysis that compares the survey results of HINTS administered in 2003, 2005, and 2007. Frequency distribution, percentages, and variability were investigated, and findings were presented by age group, type of information source, and self-reported level of trust in medical information obtained. RESULTS: The analysis demonstrates trends in patient cancer information-seeking preferences and behaviors between 2003 and 2007. With each survey, for example, the library gained increasing popularity as a source for cancer information. In 2007, survey participants viewed the library as their primary reference, followed by the Internet. On the other hand, views of health care providers as a primary information source decreased from 2003 to 2007. CONCLUSION: Older generations appear to rely on Internet sources more often than they rely on health care providers for cancer information. Thus, it is important to ensure this patient group and all patients are accessing reliable resources when they seek cancer information, regardless of the source.
This article was published in Radiol Technol
and referenced in Journal of Clinical & Cellular Immunology