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University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine Study Shows Significant Differences in English- and Spanish-speakers Use of Oncology Websites
Date:11/1/2007

PHILADELPHIA, Nov. 1 /PRNewswire/ -- A new study lead by James M. Metz, M.D., radiation oncologist at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine and presented by Charles Simone II, M.D., radiation oncologist at the National Cancer Institute concluded that when it comes to seeking information on the Internet about their health care, Spanish-speaking oncology patients differ from English-speaking patients with regards to both frequency of use and such variables as time of Internet use, browsing patterns, and types of cancer searched.

The study, The Utilization of Radiation Oncology Web-based Resources in Spanish-speaking Oncology Patients, was presented at the American Society for Therapeutic Radiology and Oncology's 49th Annual Meeting in Los Angeles.

Spanish speakers are less likely to browse for medical information during weekends and early morning hours, which suggests they may be using access at work or other specialized resources. Readers of the Spanish-language oncology website were much more likely to navigate to the site's pages from search engines and less likely to connect from a bookmark or direct address than like-minded English-speaking users.

While the most frequently searched cancer types among English-speaking users basically mirrored the most common cancers in the U.S. including breast, liver, skin, brain and colon cancers, Spanish-speaking users most often searched for information on gastric, leukemia, cervical, vaginal, penile and testicular cancers.

Additionally, the average visit duration to the Spanish Website was significantly shorter compared to the English-only site.

By identifying and acknowledging these differences, Web-based radiation oncology resources can tailor content to more effectively meet the needs of their Spanish-speaking audience.

Statistical data was synthesized through an AWStats program (an open- source log file analyzer). The program analyzed data collected from the Websites
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SOURCE University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine
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