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Breast cancer: patient information needs reflected in English and German web sites

Authors
Journal
British Journal of Cancer
0007-0920
Publisher
Nature Publishing Group
Publication Date
Identifiers
DOI: 10.1038/sj.bjc.6602168
Keywords
  • Clinical
Disciplines
  • Biology
  • Ecology
  • Medicine

Abstract

Breast cancer: patient information needs reflected in English and German web sites C Weissenberger*,1,6, S Jonassen1,6, J Beranek-Chiu1, M Neumann1, D Mu¨ller1, S Bartelt1, S Schulz2, JS Mo¨nting3, K Henne1, G Gitsch4 and G Witucki5 1Division of Radiotherapy, University Hospital of Freiburg, Hugstetter Strasse 55, D-79106 Freiburg, Germany; 2Institute of Medical Biometry and Medical Informatics, University of Freiburg, Department of Medical Informatics, Stefan-Meier-Strasse 26, D-79104 Freiburg, Germany; 3Institute of Medical Biometry and Medical Informatics, Department of Medical Biometry and Statistics, University of Freiburg, Stefan-Meier-Strasse 26, D-79104 Freiburg, Germany; 4Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, University Hospital of Freiburg, Hugstetter Strasse 55, D-79106 Freiburg, Germany; 5Department of Radiotherapy, Deaconess Hospital, Am Mutterhaus 1, D-74523 Schwa¨bisch-Hall, Germany Individual belief and knowledge about cancer were shown to influence coping and compliance of patients. Supposing that the Internet information both has impact on patients and reflects patients’ information needs, breast cancer web sites in English and German language were evaluated to assess the information quality and were compared with each other to identify intercultural differences. Search engines returned 10 616 hits related to breast cancer. Of these, 4590 relevant hits were analysed. In all, 1888 web pages belonged to 132 English-language web sites and 2702 to 65 German-language web sites. Results showed that palliative therapy (4.5 vs 16.7%; P¼ 0.004), alternative medicine (18.2 vs 46.2%; Po0.001), and disease-related information (prognosis, cancer aftercare, self- help groups, and epidemiology) were significantly more often found on German-language web sites. Therapy-related information (including the side effects of therapy and new studies) was significantly more often given by English-language web sites: for example, details about surgery, chemotherapy, radiotherapy, hormone thera

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