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 and Advocacy
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.