244664 Use of a web-based decision aid for men diagnosed with early-stage prostate cancer: Results from a web tracking study

Monday, October 31, 2011

Linda Fleisher, PhD, MPH , Office of Health Communications and Health Disparities, Fox Chase Cancer Center, Cheltenham, PA, PA
Venk Kandadai, MPH , Office Health Communications and Health Disparities, Fox Chase Cancer Center, Cheltenham, PA
Sheryl Burt Ruzek, PhD, MPH , Department of Public Health, Temple University, Philadelphia, PA
Background: Web-based decision aids are important tools to address informed decision making. Objective/Purpose: This mixed methods study described patterns of use of a web tool among men with early stage prostate cancer and explored their perceptions of a web tool and its role in their decision-making process. Methods: Men (N=56) with early stage prostate cancer, seeking consultations for surgery and/or radiation therapy at a comprehensive cancer center, were recruited by telephone. Those who consented completed a background questionnaire prior to their initial treatment consult. Variables included demographics, decisional factors (such as decision-making style, treatment preference, stage of decision making, decisional conflict) and health communication factors. The web tool had embedded web tracking capabilities. Men (N=25) were also asked to participate in an in-depth qualitative interview within 2-4 weeks after their consult visit. Results: Specific web tool components were more highly utilized while other components were rarely used. The Men's Stories, with actual men's' stories about their diagnosis, treatment decision and challenges, was viewed by 77% of the men and they spent almost half of their time here. In contrast, the Notebook, which is the values clarification tool, was viewed by only 4 men and they spent about one minute in this section. Men with lower levels of health literacy spent more time in the Men's Stories than men with higher levels of literacy. Those with higher decisional conflict spent more time overall and those who were less confident in their treatment choice were less likely to use it again. Fifteen percent of the sample was minority, but the drop-off rate in participation in the in-depth interviews among minorities and those with limited literacy was dramatic. Discussion/Conclusions: Opening this “black box” showed different patterns of use and confirmed that not everyone uses it in the same way, or as we intend.

Learning Areas:
Advocacy for health and health education
Chronic disease management and prevention
Communication and informatics
Implementation of health education strategies, interventions and programs
Public health or related education
Social and behavioral sciences

Learning Objectives:
1) Describe the usage patterns of a web-based tool by men with early stage prostate cancer. 2) Identify the information needs of men newly diagnosed with prostate cancer. 3) Evaluate the differences in patterns of web use across age, health literacy, and computer facility strata.

Keywords: Cancer, Internet Tools

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am qualified to present because I have over 25 years of public health, programming and research experience. I oversee see an office that focuses on health disparities research and community outreach at an NCI-designated comprehensive cancer center.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.