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Internet Searches Fail To Give Useful Information To Cancer Patients

Despite the extensive information available on the Internet, cancer patients find it hard to locate or gain access to the information they want//, a new study has found. Surprisingly, most cancer patients seek the help of a librarian, tired of searching for cancer information on their own, reveals the study conducted by researchers at University of Michigan Comprehensive Cancer Center.

Despite the ease and availability of Internet searches, cancer patients looking for information about their disease found more information by seeking help from a librarian than by searching on their own, according to a new study from the.

Patients and families visiting the Cancer Center's Patient Education Resource Center were surveyed about the information they received in response to a search request. For 65 percent of visitors, the professional search returned information they had not obtained from other sources, and an additional 30 percent said the librarian provided some new information. Only 4 percent of users said they found all the same information on their own.

‘Just because the information is there doesn't mean people can access it. Not everyone is on the Internet. And of those who are, only a few are knowledgeable about search strategies and techniques that are key to locating quality information on medical issues. Every search on Google or Yahoo! will turn up a list of results, but these results do not necessarily link to the best information sources about a topic,’ says Ruti Volk, M.S.I, a librarian and manager of the Patient Education Resource Center at the U-M Comprehensive Cancer Center.

Volk will present her findings Sunday, May 21, at the Medical Library Association's annual meeting in Phoenix.

The study included 513 evaluations from visitors to the Patient Education Resource Center, or PERC. Evaluations included multiple choice questions and a space to write comments.

The PERC is a full service library w
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