The use of ICTs has become widespread in recent years. There is little information available in Turkey about the level of usage of ICTs for and by cancer patients.
This descriptive study was conducted to determine the level of ICTs use and patterns of preferences among cancer patients in Ankara, Turkey. The survey was started on March 2019 and the data collection process is continuing. The sample size was determined as 334 and 173 patients were reached. In data collection, a questionnaire including 38 questions about patient demographics, use of cell phones, the interest of patients in using ICTs to receive information about cancer, and the interest of patients in using ICTs to communicate with health care providers about cancer. The study was approved by university research and ethics committees and informed consent were obtained from patients.
The mean age of the participants was 60.19±12.60 (range 27-89 years), 68.2% were female, 45.7% were primary school graduate. Mean duration of diagnosis was 24.12± 28.56 (range 1-120) months, 26% were breast cancer, 21.4 % had metastasis. Of the total, 78.6% of participants reported that they had access to the internet. The ICTs used at least once a week was found to be respectively WhatsApp (63.5%), Facebook (60.7%), instagram (34.1%), youtube (32.3%) and short message service (SMS) text messaging (31.7%). With regard to the preferences on how patients would like to use ICTs to receive information about diseases, Internet (63.0%), SMS (21.3%) and WhatsApp (19.6%) were widely reported as interesting communication channels. Participants 61.8% rely on information obtained through ICTs. Internet (36.4%), SMS (17.3%) followed by WhatsApp (15.0%, 26/173) were reported as the preferred ICTs through which patients would like to ask health providers about diseases. Adjusted regression analysis showed that patients aged between 45-64 years were more likely to be interested in receiving information through SMS than the oldest group.
In this study, we have determined that SMS text messaging presented the highest rate of interest for receiving information and communicating with health providers, followed by WhatsApp.
Clinical trial identification
Legal entity responsible for the study
Has not received any funding.
All authors have declared no conflicts of interest.