Internet Utilization by Radiation Oncology Patients
Heather Jones, MD
University of Pennsylvania Cancer Center
Last Modified: November 7, 2001
Presenter: J.M. Metz
Presenter's Affiliation: Radiation Oncology, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA
Type of Session: Scientific
Millions of people use the Internet daily. It is not unreasonable to postulate that many cancer patients are among these Internet users. This multi-institutional study evaluated the use of the Internet by radiation oncology patients presenting to academic (AC), community (CO) and veterans (VA) radiation oncology centers.
A significant number of cancer patients seen in radiation oncology departments at academic and community medical centers utilize the Internet to obtain information about cancer. Therefore, radiation oncologists must familiarize themselves with this resource because of the large number of patients using the Internet. It would appear Veterans lack access to the Internet and remain underserved by this important resource.
Internet-based health information will enable members of the healthcare team to interact with many people despite distance and time constraints. Equally, the Internet allows the quick dissemination of misinformation. This study clearly demonstrates the need for healthcare provider to know the good ,the bad, and the ugly regarding Internet cancer information. Informational media by computer is expected to become an important factor that affects health behavior, and as in all aspects of healthcare, we must strive to make computer information accessible to all.
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