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Handbook of Communication in Oncology and Palliative
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David Kissane, Barry Bultz, Phyllis Butow, and Ilora Finlay

Print publication date: 2010

Print ISBN-13: 9780199238361

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: November 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199238361.001.0001

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The effect of internet use on the doctor—cancer patient relationship

The effect of internet use on the doctor—cancer patient relationship

(p.293) Chapter 25 The effect of internet use on the doctor—cancer patient relationship
Handbook of Communication in Oncology and Palliative Care

Carma L Bylund

Jennifer A Gueguen

Oxford University Press

According to the latest Pew Internet and American Life Project, 80% of adult Internet users seek health information from the Internet. Patients who search for cancer-related Internet information differ considerably from those who do not. Studies of mixed groups of cancer patients find that patients who do search for Internet information tend to be younger, own a computer, have Internet access at home and have a higher education level than cancer patients who do not search for cancer-related Internet information. Cancer-specific support groups were first reported in the 1970s, but the number of patients with cancer who are turning to the Internet for support and the number of Internet-based cancer support groups has risen dramatically in recent years. This chapter discusses the benefits and drawbacks of cancer-related Internet information, the impact of the Internet on the doctor-patient relationship, and communication about Internet information. It also presents guidelines for improving clinician-patient communication about Internet health information.

Keywords:   Internet, cancer, cancer patients, health information, communication, support groups, doctor-patient relationship

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