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Am J Mens Health. 2008 Jun;2(2):106-21. doi: 10.1177/1557988306296156. Epub 2007 May 23.

The Internet as an emerging patient education tool among African American men with prostate cancer: an exploratory study.

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  • 1Dana Farber Cancer Institute/Harvard School of Public Health, Boston, MA 02115, USA.


The lives of African American men with prostate cancer are greatly influenced by the information available to them, some of which is accessed on the Internet. Research indicates that the Internet can enhance consumer health knowledge but has not reached socioeconomic groups at highest risk for health disparities, such as African American men with prostate cancer. In this study, focus groups were used to explore the perceptions and uses of the Internet as a patient education tool among 39 African American men aged 39 years and older with diverse socioeconomic backgrounds. Nineteen (49%) participants reported using the Internet, 15 (38%) reported no use but indicated it was used on their behalf, and 5 (13%) reported no use and no use on their behalf. The findings revealed varying degrees of Internet use for information and social support. Prostate cancer diagnosis, poor patient-doctor communications, and accessibility influenced Internet use. Accessibility related more to lack of ease and familiarity with Internet use than lack of computer access. With training and awareness, the Internet has potential as a patient education tool among African American men with prostate cancer.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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