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Gaps in health information for cancer survivors: indicators of those most in need

Wednesday, October 26, 2011 — Poster Session III

10:00 a.m. – Noon

Natcher Conference Center



* FARE Award Winner


  • E Kent
  • N Arora
  • K Bellizi
  • N Aziz
  • A Hamilton
  • I Oakley-Girvan
  • J Rowland


Understanding the role of follow-up care on information needs in long-term cancer survivors is an important and understudied area for research and intervention. We examined health information needs in 1157 cancer survivors 4-14 years post-diagnosis from a population-based survey: the FOllow-up Care Use among Survivors (FOCUS) study. Endorsement of six information needs categories (tests/treatments, side effects/symptoms, health promotion, interpersonal/emotional, insurance, and sexual functioning/fertility), total number of needs, and information self-efficacy were regressed on socio-demographic and clinical variables, quality of recent follow-up care, receipt of treatment summary, type of main follow-up doctor, and perceived social support. In the multivariate models, survivors who were younger, African American, and those with lower support (P < 0.05) reported a significantly higher number of needs. Non-whites expressed significantly higher interpersonal/emotional and insurance information needs (P < 0.05). Survivors who did not receive but wanted a written treatment summary were more likely to indicate higher needs in side effects and symptoms (odds ratio: 2.74, 95% CI: 1.54-4.87) than those who had received a treatment summary. After adjustment, number of information needs was inversely related to information self-efficacy (P < 0.05). Findings suggest the need for survivorship care planning to equip survivors with comprehensive health information.

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