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The media contributed to the knowledge and decision making of patients throughout their cancer experiences

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Q How do patients with cancer use media-produced information? What is the impact of these sources on their cancer experiences?


Qualitative study using Lincoln and Guba’s naturalistic inquiry approach.


Poole, UK.


15 patients (67% women, mean age 55 y) with cancer who had completed at least first line treatment.


Loosely structured interviews (45–90 min) aimed at exploring sources of media-produced information accessed and avoided by people with cancer; why and how they are accessed; type of information sought; and the influence of the media on cancer patients. Interviews were tape recorded, transcribed, and analysed using constant comparison.


4 categories were identified: (1) Looking beyond biomedicine. Despite feeling that they had little choice, almost all patients had faith in the information provided by most healthcare staff. Moreover, many believed that healthcare staff were responsible for disseminating information …

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  • For correspondence: MsC Balmer, Dorset Cancer Centre, Poole Hospital, Poole, UK.

  • Source of funding: no external funding.