Women's approaches to the use of new technology for cancer risk information

Women Health. 2004;40(1):59-78. doi: 10.1300/J013v40n01_04.


Background: Women are currently offered multiple sources of breast cancer risk information, and the Internet is the most rapidly growing health information source. The objectives of this study were to identify women's preferences for receiving online breast cancer risk information, to identify barriers to accessing this information, and to identify differences in these factors between Internet users and non-users.

Methods: Eight focus groups were conducted with women aged 18 to 74 (n = 65) living in King County, Washington.

Results: Participants were interested in accessing online health information with the support of a real person to assist with information searches and in accessing personalized information online. Participants emphasized the importance of trust, both in the content provider and in the organization collecting their personal data.

Conclusions: Web sites should provide personalized information and personal searching assistance. They should also include disclosures of content sources and a privacy policy that details how personal data is handled.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Attitude to Health*
  • Breast Neoplasms / epidemiology
  • Breast Neoplasms / prevention & control*
  • Communication Barriers
  • Community Participation / statistics & numerical data*
  • Consumer Behavior / statistics & numerical data
  • Female
  • Focus Groups
  • Humans
  • Information Dissemination / methods
  • Internet / standards*
  • Middle Aged
  • Narration
  • Patient Acceptance of Health Care / statistics & numerical data*
  • Patient Education as Topic / methods*
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Time Factors
  • Washington / epidemiology
  • Women's Health Services / standards