Examining clinicians' perceptions of head and neck cancer (HNC) information

Asia Pac J Clin Oncol. 2018 Oct;14(5):e428-e433. doi: 10.1111/ajco.12858. Epub 2018 Mar 2.


Background: Providing appropriate educational resources to patients with head and neck cancer (HNC) is important but challenging. The aim of this study was to determine Australian clinicians' perceptions of currently used HNC information resources.

Methods: A purpose-designed questionnaire was disseminated electronically to clinician members of the Australian and New Zealand Head and Neck Cancer Society (ANZHNCS) and The Australian Society of Otolaryngology Head and Neck Surgery (ASOHNS).

Results: Of the 648 clinicians invited, 112 responded to the survey (17.3% response rate). Overall, 85% utilized written information as their primary mode of patient education and 49% received information on treatment details. Areas for improvement include information provision, pain management, emerging risk factors, survivorship and side effects. The majority (66%) of clinicians had a preference for internet patient education materials.

Conclusions: Clinicians predominantly utilized written HNC information rather than multimedia or interactive resources. However, they expressed the desire to be able to deliver HNC information resources via an internet-based platform covering the psychosocial effects of treatment.

Keywords: consumer health information; head and neck neoplasms; health care providers; patient education as a topic; survey.

MeSH terms

  • Consumer Health Information / standards*
  • Head and Neck Neoplasms / psychology
  • Head and Neck Neoplasms / therapy*
  • Health Personnel / psychology*
  • Health Services Needs and Demand*
  • Humans
  • Internet / statistics & numerical data*
  • New Zealand
  • Patient Education as Topic*
  • Surveys and Questionnaires