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Patient Educ Couns. 2005 Jun;57(3):250-61.

Information needs and sources of information among cancer patients: a systematic review of research (1980-2003).

Author information

  • 1Division of Cancer Prevention, National Cancer Institute, 6130 Executive Blvd., EPN 4051A, MSC 7365, Bethesda, MD 20892, USA. finneyl@mail.nih.gov

Abstract

Understanding what cancer patients need to know and from whom they receive information during the course of care is essential to ensuring quality care. We reviewed 112 articles published from 1980 to 2003 and developed a typology summarizing cancer patients' information needs and the sources from which they receive information. The majority of articles focused on information needs and sources during the diagnosis and treatment phase. Thus, the most frequent information need was treatment-related (38.1%). The most frequent information source was health professionals (27.3%). We examined patients' information needs and sources along the continuum of care and found that during diagnosis and treatment, information needs about the stage of disease, treatment options, and side-effects of treatment were prominent; during post-treatment, patients continued to need information about treatment, and information about recovery was also important. Future research should examine cancer patients' information needs and sources throughout their cancer journey.

PMID:
15893206
DOI:
10.1016/j.pec.2004.06.006
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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