Navigation Links
Cancer news articles may contribute to confusion about cancer
Date:11/10/2010

New research from North Carolina State University shows that most online news stories about cancer contain language that likely contributes to public uncertainty about the disease a significant finding, given that at least one-third of Americans seek health information online.

"Previous studies show that more than 100 million Americans seek health information online, and that their findings affect their health decisions," says Dr. Kami Kosenko, an assistant professor of communication at NC State and co-author of a paper describing the study. "But, while people facing uncertainty about cancer issues are likely to seek out additional information, we've found that there are features of the information they're seeking that may actually exacerbate the uncertainty."

"We found that nearly two-thirds of cancer news articles contain at least some uncertain terms words or phrases that reflect probability or ambiguity rather than certainty," says Dr. Ryan Hurley, a senior lecturer of communication at NC State and lead author of the study. The researchers evaluated more than 800 news articles on cancer issues, ranging from prevention to diagnosis to treatment. The articles were found on Google News, Yahoo! News, CNN.com and MSNBC.com.

Specifically, the researchers found that uncertain terms were used most often in reference to cancer treatment. "If you are trying to find clarity about cancer treatment options, reading news articles online may actually confuse the issue further," Hurley says. For example, one news article said, "There is no evidence that adding chemotherapy right away helps, and it may even worsen patients' chances." Hurley explains that this sentence creates uncertainty for readers because it indicates a lack of information (no evidence) as well as ambiguity about treatment efficacy (may even worsen).

To measure the use of uncertain terms, the researchers developed a scheme that captures five specific "message features" that are theoretically related to uncertainty. These features are conflicting information, complex information, ambiguous information, having too much information and having too little information. The researchers assessed the cancer news articles to determine the extent to which each included one or more of the uncertainty message features.

"To this point, no one has developed a means of systematically identifying and quantifying uncertain terms," Hurley says. "We believe the scheme we've created could be applied to identify uncertain terms in any text, from news articles to advertisements."

The researchers plan to use the scheme in forthcoming research efforts, including the design of experiments that can help us understand how uncertainty in messages influences people and affects behavior.


'/>"/>

Contact: Matt Shipman
matt_shipman@ncsu.edu
919-515-6386
North Carolina State University
Source:Eurekalert

Related medicine news :

1. Enhancing arrest of cell growth to treat cancer in mice
2. Paxil Blocks Tamoxifen, Lowers Survival Odds Against Breast Cancer
3. The National Coalition for Cancer Survivorship Joins the Commission on Cancer
4. Low forms of cyclin E reduce breast cancer drugs effectiveness
5. Racial disparities persist in the diagnosis of advanced breast cancer and colon cancer in the U.S.
6. Soft drinks may increase risk of pancreatic cancer
7. UH Case Medical Center researchers publish promising findings for advanced cervical cancer
8. Genes Play Role in Prognosis With Non-Small Cell Lung Cancers
9. Single gene mutation induces endometrial cancer
10. Certain genetic profiles associated with recurrence-free survival for non-small cell lung cancer
11. Molecular pathways linked to sex, age affect outcomes in lung cancer
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:3/24/2017)... ... March 24, 2017 , ... Empower Brokerage, ... their training and leads programs. , In February, 2017, Empower Brokerage introduced their ... Performance Partners is designed to teach how to maximize their sales efforts, as ...
(Date:3/24/2017)... ... March 24, 2017 , ... “Finding Christ Through Social Media: ... journal chronicling the writer’s path toward true communion with God. “Finding Christ Through ... is the creation of published author Lea Michelle Johnson, a follower of Christ, ...
(Date:3/24/2017)... (PRWEB) , ... March 24, 2017 , ... “Vintage and ... a retired minister and college Bible teacher residing in North Carolina with his wife, ... who have blessed them with six grandchildren. David is also the author of “Shadow ...
(Date:3/24/2017)... ... ... “The Adventures of Joey, The Dog Who Barks at Puddles”: a boisterous story ... fullest, as God intended. “The Adventures of Joey, The Dog Who Barks at Puddles” ... passion for writing, especially about truth and human behavior. , Published by Christian Faith ...
(Date:3/23/2017)... ... ... A recent report from the National Council on Teacher Quality (NCTQ) advocates for ... on a review of GPA and SAT/ACT requirements at 221 institutions in 25 states, ... that this higher bar should be set by states, by the Council for the ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:3/23/2017)... , Mar 23, 2017 Research and ... Analysis & Trends - Industry Forecast to 2025" report to ... ... of around 6.9% over the next decade to reach approximately $3.5 ... estimates and forecasts for all the given segments on global as ...
(Date:3/23/2017)... , March 23, 2017 The ... ageing population, increasing diabetic population, accelerating economic growth and increasing ... this industry are higher life expectancy of ESRD patients, rising ... emerging markets. However, the expansion of the market is hindered ... ...
(Date:3/23/2017)... , March 23, 2017  Transportation Insight, a multi-modal ... end-to-end supply chain management firm with expertise serving clients ... Solutions Rick Zaffarano was named a 2017 ... Supply Chain by the only publication exclusively dedicated to ... supply chain. "Rick has brought to Transportation ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: