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Bernat JK, Skolarus TA, Hawley ST, Haggstrom DA, Darwish-Yassine M, Wittmann DA. Negative information-seeking experiences of long-term prostate cancer survivors. Journal of cancer survivorship : research and practice. 2016 Dec 1; 10(6):1089-1095.
PURPOSE: Many prostate cancer survivors have lasting symptoms and disease-related concerns for which they seek information. To understand survivors' information-seeking experiences, we examined the topics of their information searches, their overall perceptions of the search, and perceptions of their health information seeking self-efficacy (i.e., confidence in their ability to obtain information). We hypothesized that negative search experiences and lower health information seeking self-efficacy would be associated with certain survivor characteristics such as non-white race, low income, and less education. METHODS: This was a retrospective study using data from the Michigan Prostate Cancer Survivor Study (state-based survey of long-term prostate cancer survivor outcomes, N = 2499, response rate = 38 %). Participants recalled their last search for information and reported the topics and overall experience. We conducted multivariable regression to examine the association between survivor characteristics and the information-seeking experience. RESULTS: Nearly a third (31.7 %) of prostate cancer survivors (median age of 76 years and 9 years since diagnosis) reported having negative information-seeking experiences when looking for information. However, only 13.4 % reported having low health information-seeking self-efficacy. Lower income and less education were both significantly associated with negative information-seeking experiences. CONCLUSIONS: Our findings suggest that many long-term prostate cancer survivors have negative experiences when searching for information, and lower income and less education were survivor factors related to negative information-seeking experiences. IMPLICATIONS FOR CANCER SURVIVORS: We advocate for ongoing, information needs assessment at the point-of-care as the survivorship experience progresses to assess and potentially improve survivors' quality of life.