The explosion in the use of the Internet is transforming the access and delivery of health information. Consumers now have the same medical information that is currently available to providers and this availability has the potential to significantly change the relationship between patient and provider, alter the ways patients and providers communicate and help create a consumer base of power in health policy and decision making. The health consumer can now access electronic information at any time, from home or office, day or night, and id no longer restricted to traditional avenues of communications talking to health care professionals, friends or colleagues. Coupled with current political efforts to "wire: the nation it will be essential to examine the role computers will play in this century and the impact that this information delivery system will have on health education for consumers, their providers, and health care delivery systems. This research project is a cross-sectional study examining the relationship between the use of Internet health information by people newly diagnosed with cancer and patient task behavior and perceived self efficacy. Specific variables studied will include overall descriptive characteristics of those using Internet health information, perceived patient behavior in patient-provider communication and perceived self efficacy coping with disease. These variables will be compared among, 1. Direct users-people using the Internet themselves; 2. Indirect Users-people receiving Internet health information from friends or family members; and, 3. Non-Users- people not using the Internet health information. The study will utilize the Cancer Information Service (CIS) Atlantic Office, located at Fox Chase Cancer Center in Philadelphia, PA. Participants (N=600) will be recruited from persons calling the 1-800-4-Cancer telephone service who indicate that they, 1. are 18 years or older; 2. have been newly diagnosed with cancer; and, 3. have not begun cancer treatment. For those who consent to be in the study, follow up phone interviews will be made six to eight weeks after initial contact to assess impact of the use of Internet on perceived patient task behavior and self efficacy.
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