Cancer patients experience info barrier

31 October 2012

Many cancer patients are unable to access and understand the information available to them, because of the complex way in which it is written, a new study carried out by experts at Loyola University Medical Center has suggested.

Research published in the Journal of Urology and seen by Medical News Today shows that many online resources for prostate cancer require the patient to have a higher reading level than they currently do.

Dr Gopal Gupta, senior author of the study, said this is problematic for one-third of survey subjects who seek to further educate themselves using online resources

Given that nearly one-third of the survey subjects read below secondary school level, it raises the concern that many patients will have difficulty comprehending online information about prostate cancer treatment options, she noted.

"Clinicians should be aware that some of their patients may not be able to read online information and should consciously guide patients with low literacy to not only high-quality web sites, but also sites that are easy-to-read, to prevent confusion and anxiety after being diagnosed with prostate cancer," Dr Gupta concluded.

Posted by Philip Briggs

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