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Evid Based Nurs 7:125 doi:10.1136/ebn.7.4.125
  • Qualitative

Patients used the internet to transform their cancer experiences


 
 Q How do men and women with cancer talk about using the internet?

DESIGN

Qualitative study using interviews collected for the DIPEx charity (www.dipex.org), which runs a website based on video, audio, and written clips from hundreds of interviews with patients.

SETTING

UK.

PARTICIPANTS

Using maximum variation sampling, 175 men and women 18–83 years of age who had been diagnosed with prostate, testicular, breast, cervical, or bowel cancer in the previous 10 years were recruited at different stages of disease through general practitioners, hospital consultants, support groups, and word of mouth.

METHODS

Individual narrative interviews were usually done in the respondents’ homes. Participants were asked to tell their own stories from the time they began to suspect they had a problem. The interviewer then used a set of semistructured questions to explore how and why information and support was accessed. Interviews were read and coded using both anticipated and emergent themes and analysed using constant comparison. Negative cases were sought and discussed.

MAIN FINDINGS

55 respondents directly accessed cancer information on the internet, and another …

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