Cancer patients and mass media

  • Mirjana Rajer Institute of Oncology Ljubljana Zaloska 2 1000 Ljubljana
  • Luka Čavka Faculty of Medicine Vrazov trg 2 1104 Ljubljana
  • Amela Duratović Institute of Oncology Ljubljana
Keywords: cancer patient, mass media, internet, television, brochures



Nowadays cancer patients tend to be more involved in the medical decision process. Active participation improves health outcomes and patient satisfaction. To participate effectively patients require a huge amount of information, but time limits make it impossible to satisfy all information needs at clinics. We tried to find out which kind of media cancer patients use when searching for information and how often. Lastly, we try to find out how popular the Internet is in this regard.


In this research we invited cancer patients, who had regular clinic examinations at the Oncology Institute between 21st and 25th May in 2012. We carried out a prospective research by anonymous questionnaires. We were investigating which media were used and how often. We analysed results with descriptive statistics, ANOVA, the χ²-Test and the t-test.


478 of 919 questionnaires distributed among cancer patients were returned. Mean age was 59.9 years. 61 % of responders were female, and the most common level of education was high school (33 %). Most common cancer type was breast cancer (33 %), followed by gastrointestinal and lung cancer. Patients search for information most often on television (81.4% responders), followed by specialized brochures (78%), internet (70.8%) and newspapers (67.6%). Patients who do not use media for information searching are older than average (62.5 years vs. 59.9 years; p<0,000).

CONCLUSIONSAccording to our results patients search for information most often on television, followed by brochures, internet and newspapers. Older patients less often search for information. This data might help doctors in everyday clinical practice.


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How to Cite
Rajer M, Čavka L, Duratović A. Cancer patients and mass media. ZdravVestn [Internet]. 29Jun.2015 [cited 22Sep.2019];84(5). Available from:
Original article