Newly diagnosed cancer patients who use the Internet to gather information about their disease have a more positive outlook and are more active participants in their treatment, according to a new Temple University study published in the March 2006 issue of the Journal of Health Communication.
"This is the first study to look at the relationship between Internet use and patient behaviors," said principal investigator and public health professor Sarah Bass, Ph.D. "We wanted to see if access to readily available information about their condition helped patients to cope with issues such as hair loss and other treatment side effects."
For this study, the researchers recruited patients who called a National Cancer Institute-funded 1-800 number, where trained specialists answered questions about the disease and directed callers to cancer-related resources in their area. Once selected, the 442 participants were broken into "direct user, indirect user and non user" categories based on their Internet usage patterns.
Tory Harris | EurekAlert!
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