Send to

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
Comput Nurs. 1999 Mar-Apr;17(2):65-72.

Gender differences on Internet cancer support groups.

Author information



The role of community-based cancer support groups (CSGs) in helping people cope with cancer is well known. Recently, online CSGs have become a viable alternative to traditional CSGs. The purposes of this study were to determine if categories of responses on Internet cancer support groups (ICSGs) differ when the majority of the participants were of a single gender, and whether response categories seen on gender-specific ICSGs were different than those on ICSGs used equally by men and women. A line-by-line analysis of postings on prostate, breast, and mixed ICSGs were analyzed and responses categorized. Four categories (information giving/seeking; encouragement/support; personal opinion; and personal experience) accounted for approximately 80% of responses across the groups. Information giving/seeking was ranked first in the prostate group, and personal experience took priority in the breast group. Men were more than twice as likely to give information and women more than twice as likely to give encouragement and support. One category (prayer), identified in the mixed group, was lacking in the prostate and breast groups, and an activism category was added to the prostate group. Categorical responses differed by gender (chi 2 = 79.40, P < .0001). Attention should be given to facilitating the entry of underserved groups into ICSGs. Future research should explore the relationship between ICSG membership and variables such as depression, survival time, and quality of life.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Loading ...
    Support Center