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:6/25/2016)... ... June 25, 2016 , ... "With 30 hand-drawn hand ... project," said Christina Austin - CEO of Pixel Film Studios. , ProHand Cartoon’s ... within Final Cut Pro X . Simply select a ProHand generator and drag ...
(Date:6/25/2016)... ... June 25, 2016 , ... Dr. Calvin Johnson has ... he has implemented orthobiologic procedures as a method for treating his patients. The ... first doctors to perform the treatment. Orthobiologics are substances that orthopaedic surgeons use ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... ... June 24, 2016 , ... A recent article published ... unfamiliar with. The article goes on to state that individuals are now more comfortable ... less common operations such as calf and cheek reduction. The Los Angeles area medical ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... ... June 24, 2016 , ... Marcy was in a crisis. Her son James, eight, was out ... family verbally and physically. , “When something upset him, he couldn’t control his emotions,” remembers ... would throw rocks at my other children and say he was going to kill them. ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... ... June 24, 2016 , ... Dr. Amanda Cheng, an ... Cheng has extensive experience with all areas of orthodontics, including robotic Suresmile technology, ... , Micro-osteoperforation is a revolutionary adjunct to orthodontic treatment. It can be ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:6/24/2016)... June 24, 2016 The Academy of Managed ... recommendations that would allow biopharmaceutical companies to more ... that make formulary and coverage decisions, a move that ... new medicines. The recommendations address restrictions in ... on the drug label, a prohibition that hinders decision ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... Mass. and SAN CLEMENTE, Calif. , ... California -based mobile pulmonary function testing company, is now able ... PFT devices developed by ndd Medical Technologies , Inc. ... testing done in hospital-based labs.  Thanks to ndd,s EasyOne PRO ® ... , can get any needed testing done in the comfort ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... -- According to a new market research ... Safety Pen Needles), Needle Length (4mm, 5mm, 6mm, 8mm, ... Purchase (Retail, Non-Retail) - Trends & Global Forecasts to ... for the forecast period of 2016 to 2021. This ... 2021 from USD 1.65 Billion in 2016, growing at ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: