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16.11.2016 | Ausgabe 3/2018

Journal of Cancer Education 3/2018

Cancer Information Seeking Among Adult New Zealanders: a National Cross-Sectional Study

Journal of Cancer Education > Ausgabe 3/2018
Rosalina Richards, Bronwen McNoe, Ella Iosua, Anthony Reeder, Richard Egan, Louise Marsh, Lindsay Robertson, Brett Maclennan, Anna Dawson, Robin Quigg, Anne-Cathrine Petersen


Organisations seeking to establish themselves as leading cancer information sources for the public need to understand patterns and motivators for information seeking. This study describes cancer information seeking among New Zealanders through a national cross-sectional survey conducted in 2014/15 with a population-based sample of adults (18 years and over). Participants were asked if they had sought information about cancer during the past 12 months, the type of information they sought, what prompted them to look for information and ways of getting information they found helpful. Telephone interviews were completed by 1064 participants (588 females, 476 males, 64% response rate). Of these, 33.8% of females and 23.3% of males (total, 29.2%) had searched for information about cancer over the past year. A search was most frequently prompted by a cancer diagnosis of a family member or friend (43.3%), a desire to educate themselves (17.5%), experience of potential symptoms or a positive screening test (9.4%), family history of cancer (8.9%) or the respondent’s own cancer diagnosis (7.7%). Across the cancer control spectrum, the information sought was most commonly about treatment and survival (20.2%), symptoms/early detection (17.2%) or risk factors (14.2%), although many were general or non-specific queries (50.0%). The internet was most commonly identified as a helpful source of information (71.7%), followed by health professionals (35.8%), and reading material (e.g. books, pamphlets) (14.7%).
This study provides a snapshot of cancer information seeking in New Zealand, providing valuable knowledge to help shape resource delivery to better meet the diverse needs of information seekers and address potential unmet needs, where information seeking is less prevalent.

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