Information-seeking behavior of women in their path to an innovative alternate treatment for symptomatic uterine fibroids

J Med Libr Assoc. 2007 Apr;95(2):164-72, e51-3. doi: 10.3163/1536-5050.95.2.164.


Objectives: The purpose of the study was to discover how women found out about uterine fibroid embolization (UFE) for the treatment of symptomatic uterine fibroids.

Methods: The study retrospectively tracked women from the beginning of their illnesses and analyzed their information-seeking behaviors. Twenty-eight women who had the procedure at the Detroit Medical Center were interviewed using a standard script. Median values and frequencies were calculated to represent information needs, information sources, and perceived helpfulness. Spearman correlations were calculated to find relationships between demographics and information needs.

Results: Although the women expressed a great need for almost all types of information (median = 5), those with higher levels of education indicated a greater need to know the reasons that their doctors had for suggesting treatments (r = 0.55). The gathered frequencies indicated that friends, magazines, television, and the Internet were important information sources. A preliminary model of information seeking showed that while friends, magazines, and television made several of the women aware of the new procedure, the Internet was heavily utilized for learning about treatment options.

Conclusions: Health sciences librarians may inform women about their health and treatment options by guiding women to easily readable, authoritative, and reliable information sources, including Web information sites.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Behavior
  • Educational Status
  • Embolization, Therapeutic*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Information Dissemination
  • Information Services / statistics & numerical data*
  • Internet / statistics & numerical data*
  • Interviews as Topic
  • Leiomyoma / therapy*
  • Middle Aged
  • Patient Acceptance of Health Care
  • Patient Education as Topic*
  • Radiology, Interventional
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Uterine Neoplasms / therapy*