Cancer patients share web info with docs for insight, advice

May 25, 2012
Cancer patients share web info with docs for insight, advice
They are not typically challenging their treatments, study found.

(HealthDay) -- Cancer patients' primary goal in talking with their doctors about information they've found on the Internet is to get more insight and advice on the online information, new research indicates.

"It seems that patients were not necessarily trying to influence their doctors, but rather they wanted to better understand their options," study author Christina Sabee, an associate professor of at San Francisco State University, said in a Journal of Applied Communication Research news release.

Sabee and her colleagues examined responses to online completed by 145 and from three online cancer communities and found that only 13 percent discussed online information with their doctors to test the doctor's knowledge or find out why the doctor's advice differed from online information.

Thirty-seven percent of participants said they discussed online information with their doctor to learn more about a condition or treatment, 19 percent wanted the doctor's opinion or advice, and 10 percent wanted their doctor to verify the accuracy of the online information.

The study also found that 13 percent of patients wanted to show their doctor they were taking an active role in treatment or being a "good patient." Some of these patients felt that their doctors had strict ideas about treatment and were unwilling to consider other options.

It's important for doctors to recognize these patients, Sabee said.

"Patients who discuss Internet to show that they are a 'good' patient, or to express competence and knowledge about their illness, may respond poorly to a stark criticism of their Internet research or a refusal to support certain options," she explained.

When a patient wants to talk about online information, doctors could respond by asking the patient what led them to bring up this information, Sabee suggested. Doing so could encourage in patients and lead to better health.

The study was published online May 23 and will appear in the August print issue of the journal.

Explore further: Patients want immediate access to radiology test results

More information: The American Cancer Society has more about cancer information on the Internet.


Related Stories

Patients want immediate access to radiology test results

April 2, 2012
You've been experiencing severe back pain and weakness in your right leg. Your doctor orders a spinal MRI to help determine the cause. The radiology report diagnoses cancer.

Caution advised when considering patient and colleague feedback on doctors

October 28, 2011
Official assessments of a doctor's professionalism should be considered carefully before being accepted due to the tendency for some doctors to receive lower scores than others, and the tendency of some groups of patient ...

Doctors telling more adults: Get out and exercise

February 9, 2012
(AP) -- More and more U.S. adults are being told by their doctor to get out and exercise, according to government survey released Thursday.

What patients talk about when they talk about doctors

February 3, 2012
(Medical Xpress) -- An analysis of hundreds of reviews posted to physician-rating sites on the Internet revealed that patients generally give their doctors favorable reviews in this forum. If they complain, it is generally ...

Recommended for you

Americans are getting more sleep

January 19, 2018
Although more than one in three Americans still don't get enough sleep, a new analysis shows first signs of success in the fight for more shut eye. According to data from 181,335 respondents aged 15 and older who participated ...

Wine is good for you—to a point

January 18, 2018
The Mediterranean diet has become synonymous with healthy eating, but there's one thing in it that stands out: It's cool to drink wine.

Sleep better, lose weight?

January 17, 2018
(HealthDay)—Sleeplessness could cost you when it's time to stand on your bathroom scale, a new British study suggests.

Who uses phone apps to track sleep habits? Mostly the healthy and wealthy in US

January 16, 2018
The profile of most Americans who use popular mobile phone apps that track sleep habits is that they are relatively affluent, claim to eat well, and say they are in good health, even if some of them tend to smoke.

Improvements in mortality rates are slowed by rise in obesity in the United States

January 15, 2018
With countless medical advances and efforts to curb smoking, one might expect that life expectancy in the United States would improve. Yet according to recent studies, there's been a reduction in the rate of improvement in ...

Can muesli help against arthritis?

January 15, 2018
It is well known that healthy eating increases a general sense of wellbeing. Researchers at Friedrich-Alexander-Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg (FAU) have now discovered that a fibre-rich diet can have a positive influence ...

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.