Navigation Links
Watching how cancer patients interact online could help clinicians provide better services
Date:5/11/2011

Men who visited a major online support group after being diagnosed with prostate cancer were most likely to seek advice on therapy and treatment, together with emotional support, according to research in the May issue of the urology journal BJUI. But, surprisingly, they went to great lengths to avoid using the word "cancer".

Researchers studied 501 threads posted during a 32-month period on Germany's largest prostate cancer forum, run by an umbrella group of organisations covering the disease. They analysed 1,630 posts on 82 threads started by men who had just been diagnosed and needed help to make decisions. Off-topic threads and posts written by people seeking advice on behalf of others were excluded.

"Social support plays a major role for most patients with prostate cancer, because of the intimate nature of the disease and the fact that there are such a wide range of treatment choices available for men with localised disease" explains lead author Dr Johannes Huber from the University of Heidelberg, Germany.

"Online support groups enable us to understand how patients communicate with each other when it comes to making medical decisions and this knowledge increases our understanding of our patients' needs and concerns."

Key findings of the study included:

  • Specific questions were posed in 79% of the threads, with the other 21% covering more general areas.

  • Two-thirds of the questions (66%) were about therapy recommendations, 46% were about treatment, including side effects, and 46% of the men explicitly sought emotional support.

  • The other topics to make the top five were diagnostic matters (39%) and physicians and institutions (28%).

  • Over a third of the threads (35%) included comments on specific treatment options, 24% offered emotional support and 21% relayed the responder's first-hand experiences.

  • Posters were less likely to recommend surgical options, with 67% suggesting radical prostatectomy and 82% advocating radiotherapy.

  • Direct contact was rarely offered in email (7%) or by telephone (7%) and never in person. Men seeking advice were more likely to be advised to keep calm (21%) than act faster (15%) in a given situation.

  • Emotional support was given regardless of whether the men requested it. However, men who did request emotional support were more grateful and more likely to explain their personal treatment decisions in detail.

  • Just over half of the threads (51%) suggested that the men seek a second opinion and additional imaging was recommended in 40% of the threads. However, only 20% of these recommendations were medically sound, according to recent guidelines.

  • More than half of the threads (57%) included recommendations for a particular physician and 36% advised men to go to a university hospital.

"One thing that did surprise us about the forum was the tentative language used by the posters and the fact that they went to great lengths to avoid using the word cancer" says Dr Huber. "It was almost as if the word was taboo. We were also surprised that they avoided using other common language, preferring medical phrases like 'prostate carcinoma' and 'positive biopsy findings', which were extraordinarily common."

The authors feel that virtual peer-to-peer interaction could provide similar positive benefits to those offered by conventional support groups.

"Without the necessity of direct personal contact, patients readily receive information, advice and emotional support" says Dr Huber. "Emotional issues are covered whether or not they are requested and the contact is much wider than focusing on facts and figures.

"In short, social interaction on the internet is successful and appears to be a regular part of coping with prostate cancer as well as the decision-making process. And monitoring this interaction is a good way for clinicians to develop a greater understand of their patients' needs and worries."


'/>"/>

Contact: Annette Whibley
annette.wizard@gmail.com
Wiley-Blackwell
Source:Eurekalert

Related medicine news :

1. New York Truck Driver Watching Porn Kills Mother, Appalls Personal Injury Lawyers Such As David Perecman
2. Watching Special Videos May Not Make Kids Brainier
3. Americans for Responsible Health Care Launch Radio Ads Targeting Seven Democrats, Warning The People Are Watching...
4. Watching R-Rated Movies May Lead to Early Alcohol Use
5. Too Many Tots Watching Too Much TV: Study
6. Watching R-rated Movies Ups Odds of Teens Smoking
7. Giffords Opens Eyes. Like Watching a Miracle, Friends Say
8. Watching TV coverage of terror makes viewers feel threatened
9. Simply Watching a CPR Video Might Save Lives
10. When Someone Is Watching, Youre Less Inclined to Do Bad Things
11. Enhancing arrest of cell growth to treat cancer in mice
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:9/24/2017)... ... September 25, 2017 , ... Bhowanie Benimadhu’s new book “ Our Creative World: ... life and seeks answers in both Eastern and Western religious traditions and spirituality such ... in the mind of humankind for the past thousands of years and still are,” ...
(Date:9/24/2017)... ... September 24, 2017 , ... Millions of families and businesses worldwide ... wells can provide clean, safe, potable water. However, well water can also become contaminated ... to disease and illness. , The EPA does not regulate private drinking water ...
(Date:9/23/2017)... (PRWEB) , ... September 23, 2017 , ... ... the behavioral approach to fighting obesity of Robert Kushner, director of Chicago’s Center ... weight loss and promoting healthier habits, the article notes that the center routinely ...
(Date:9/22/2017)... ... September 22, 2017 , ... ... they often saves lives. However, if one isn’t accessible in certain locations, the ... of defibrillation, I came up with this idea," said an inventor from Ridgecrest, ...
(Date:9/22/2017)... ... September 22, 2017 , ... SABRE is pleased to ... Molli C., a graduate student from Sonora, California, who will begin her studies ... Thomas University in Miami, Florida, was selected from a pool of more than ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:9/7/2017)...  Eli Lilly and Company (NYSE: ... to more efficiently focus resources on developing new ... workforce reductions, including those from a U.S. voluntary ... 3,500 positions. With the streamlining ... approximately $500 million that will begin to be ...
(Date:9/7/2017)... Ind. , Sept. 7, 2017  Zimmer Biomet ... in musculoskeletal healthcare, today announced that it will be ... Global Healthcare Conference at the Grand Hyatt hotel in ... 11, 2017 at 11:40 a.m. Eastern Time. ... via Zimmer Biomet,s Investor Relations website at http://investor.zimmerbiomet.com ...
(Date:9/6/2017)... N.Y. , Sept. 6, 2017   PDI , ... announced it will host an educational session focused on ... bloodstream infection (CLABSI) prevention at the 2017 Annual Scientific ... which will take place at the Phoenix ... from Sept. 16-19, will also feature PDI,s ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: