Parents of Children With Cancer Distrust Online Health Info, Study Says


Parents and other caregivers of children with cancer try to avoid online medical information, which often focuses on worst-case scenarios, according to a study scheduled to be published in May in the journal Sociology of Health and Illness, United Press International reports.

For the study, researchers from the Roswell Park Cancer Institute and the University at Buffalo School of Public Health and Health Professions interviewed 41 parents of children with cancer.

Elizabeth Gage -- a professor of community health and behavior at the University of Buffalo's public health school -- said that parents not only distrust information found on the Internet but also are afraid of the information they might find. Gage said, "They didn't want to run into stories about 'the worst-case scenario.'"

Gage also noted, "One of the reasons we were interested in exploring this issue is that so much research and media coverage had examined how the Internet was breaking down barriers between patients and caregivers and their physicians. But that wasn't that case in our study" (United Press International, 3/22).

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