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Health Educ Behav. 2012 Oct;39(5):583-8. doi: 10.1177/1090198111423941. Epub 2011 Oct 11.

Internet use for prediagnosis symptom appraisal by colorectal cancer patients.

Author information

1
Virginia Commonwealth University, Richmond, VA 23298, USA. mthomson2@vcu.edu

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

This study explored the characteristics of colorectal cancer (CRC) patients who accessed Internet-based health information as part of their symptom appraisal process prior to consulting a health care provider.

METHOD:

Newly diagnosed CRC patients who experienced symptoms prior to diagnosis were interviewed. Brief COPE was used to measure patient coping. Logistic and linear regressions were used to assess Internet use and appraisal delay.

RESULTS:

Twenty-five percent of the sample (61/242) consulted the Internet prior to visiting a health care provider. Internet use was associated with having private health insurance (odds ratio [OR] = 2.55; 95% confidence interval [CI] = 1.20-5.43) and experiencing elimination symptoms (OR = 1.43; 95% CI = 1.14-1.80) and was marginally associated with age (OR = 0.96; 95% CI = 0.93-0.99). Internet use was not related to delayed medical care seeking.

CONCLUSION:

Internet use did not influence decisions to seek medical care. The Internet provided a preliminary information resource for individuals who experienced embarrassing CRC symptoms, had private health insurance, and were younger.

PMID:
21990571
PMCID:
PMC3521844
DOI:
10.1177/1090198111423941
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article
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