There is considerable demand for cancer information resources in New Zealand, with a third of women and a quarter of men deliberately searching for these over the past year, according to a new University of Otago study.
The study, led by Dr Rose Richards of the Cancer Society Social & Behavioural Research Unit, interviewed over 1000 adults from across New Zealand providing a snapshot of who is searching for cancer information, what they are searching for, and why.
Dr Richards says motivations for searching included their own cancer experience, concern about a symptom or early detection result or a family history of cancer.
“Most commonly, however, searchers were prompted by a family member or friend receiving a cancer diagnosis.
“There are important opportunities here to provide information to a wider circle of family and friends, so they can support someone experiencing cancer, but also because they may be at an increased risk of health issues themselves, such as depression and anxiety,” she says.
People were looking for a variety of information, most commonly concerned with the experience of cancer treatment and survival, how to identify it early and how to reduce the risk of developing cancer.
The findings highlight the importance of recent government goals to ensure that, by 2018, more New Zealanders have access to easily understood and nationally consistent cancer information resources, she says.
[hr] Paper: Rosalina Richards et al. Cancer Information Seeking Among Adult New Zealanders: a National Cross-Sectional Study, Journal of Cancer Education (2016). DOI: 10.1007/s13187-016-1136-9
Source: University of Otago