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Types of Information Needs among Cancer Patients: A Systematic Review

Full citation: Ankem, K. Types of information needs among cancer patients: A systematic review. LIBRES 2005 Sept; 15 (2): http://libres.curtin.edu.au/libres15n2/index.htm.

The Ankem article is a literature review and meta-analysis of articles investigating how the situational and demographic characteristics of cancer patients affects their need for different types of health information. For instance, the article reported that patients’ preferred role in making treatment-related decisions affects their need for information. Disease-related information was ranked highest in need, while information about social activities, sexual issues, and self-care issues received lower rankings. Gender, age, and time since diagnosis had some affect on how patients rated the importance of different types of information. This article provides insight into factors for librarians to consider when locating health information for cancer patients.

Interested readers might also want to review an evidence summary of this article written by Loy for Evidence Based Library and Information Practice. Because of the EBLIP audience, Loy spends considerable space on critiquing the meta-analysis methods.

Full site: Loy, J. Information needs of cancer patients are influenced by time since diagnosis, stage of cancer, patients’ age and preferred role in treatment-related decisions. Evidence Based Library and Information Practice 2006; 1 (3), 80-83. http://ejournals.library.ualberta.ca/index.php/EBLIP/article/view/59/139

Also, Loy recommends another literature review that addresses health information needs of cancer patients:

Full cite: Rutten, LJ et al. Information needs and sources of information among cancer patients: A systematic review of research (1980 – 2003). Patient Education and Counseling 2005; 57(3): 250-261.

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