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J Health Commun. 2006;11 Suppl 1:173-80.

Cancer information seeking preferences and experiences: disparities between Asian Americans and Whites in the Health Information National Trends Survey (HINTS).

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Department of Family Medicine and Community Health, Center of Excellence in Cancer Communication Research, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 19104, USA.


Little is known about cancer information needs and seeking patterns in the rapidly growing Asian American population. The purpose of this study is to characterize cancer information seeking behaviors and preferences in Asian Americans and to examine their cancer-related knowledge and risk perceptions. Data from the nationally representative Health Information National Trends Survey (HINTS) database were analyzed to compare non-Hispanic Asians and Whites. Asians had lower awareness of the National Institutes of Health and American Cancer Society, were less likely to think that not smoking or quitting smoking would reduce cancer risk, were less knowledgeable about colon cancer screening, and considered their personal cancer risk to be low. Asians and Whites had similar media usage rates. They also had similar rates of preference for cancer information from various sources, although Asians were significantly more likely to prefer print materials. The level of trust of cancer information from doctors was high overall. This study is limited by under-representation of some demographic subpopulations, future surveys should oversample Asians and strive to include higher-risk Asians (e.g., elderly, poorly educated, immigrants, and those with limited English proficiency).

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