1404 - Internet use by cancer patients and their relatives: an useful information tool IR our country or a confusion element? : final results of our study

Date 28 September 2012
Event ESMO Congress 2012
Session Publication Only
Topics Patient Education
Presenter Carolina Ruiperez
Authors C.O. Ruiperez1, M.L. Gomez2, M. Molina-Garido3, L.H. Martinez4, A. Olaverri Hernandez1, M. Muñoz Sanchez3, J. Santiago Crespo3, F. Lobo5, A. Carrato6, J. Feliu7
  • 1Medical Oncology, Virgen de la Luz Hospital, 16002 - Cuenca/ES
  • 2Medical Oncology Department, Infanta Sofia University Hospital, San Sebastian de los Reyes/ES
  • 3Medical Oncology, Hospital General Virgen de la Luz de Cuenca, 16002 - Cuenca/ES
  • 4Medical Oncology, Spanish Association against Cancer (AECC), Cuenca/ES
  • 5Servicio De Oncologia, Fundacion Jeminez DiazClin Nstra Senora de la Concepcion, ES-28040 - Madrid/ES
  • 6Medical Oncology, Hospital Ramon y Cajal, ES-28034 - Madrid/ES
  • 7Medical Oncology, LA PAZ UNIVERSITY HOSPITAL, 28046 - MADRID/ES


Introduction and objectives

To analyze Internet use in Cancer patients and their relatives, the type of information they obtained online, its usefulness and its impact on the patient-physician relationship and in treatment decisions.

Materials and methods

Questionnaires were distributed to cancer patients (304) and their companions (231). The population sample came from a tertiary urban hospital in downtown Madrid, a secundary urban hospital in Cuenca, and two rural clinics in Ciudad Real. Student t-tests, chi-square tests and multivariate regression logistic analysis were carried out. The study was approved by the local ethics committee, and participants written informed consent.


Internet use was relatively low (35,2% patients, 55,8% relatives); Cancer specific information and treatment options were the main research topics between patients. In both subgrups, internet use was stadistical significative correlated with study levels (24,5% and 38,6% had Universitary studies ). No statistical differences between rural and urban population. Only 12% patients discussed the obtained information with their clinicians. The quality of the information was unreliable: 20% patients considered the information average or bad, and 16% felt more confused after Internet search. For 38% patients, the information had been useful; however, 9,6% patients did not think that Internet information was important to decide the type of treatment.


Internet use to obtain medical information, is a tool which gets more and more useful in Oncology patients and their relatives in our country. Quality information is highly unrealible, althought it helps patients to cope better with cancer. A low percentaje of patients discusses the information with the physician.


All authors have declared no conflicts of interest.