Web Psychosocial Surveys in Cancer Survivorship— A Methodological Note

Olinda Santin, Moyra Mills, Charlene Treanor, Grace McDonald, Michael Donnelly

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Abstract

The number of Internet surveys is increasing, and there is a need to examine critically their value in psychosocial cancer care research. This study explored the use of an online method of recruiting and surveying people affected by cancer. An online survey was designed to measure the health status and service needs of adult cancer survivors and caregivers. The online survey received 491 page visits; only 5% of visitors (13 survivors and 14 cancer caregivers) completed the online questionnaire. The average age of survivors and caregivers was 43 and 42 years, respectively. The majority of survivor and caregiver online respondents were female (23/27, 85%) and had been affected by cancer between 1 and 3 years previously (16/27, 59%). Our online research did not appear to be an effective method for recruiting and surveying the psychosocial health of cancer survivors. This study identified potential pitfalls and obstacles of online cancer care surveys particularly in relation to the age of cancer survivors, access to the Internet and the need to ensure surveys are easily and immediately accessible. Future Internet surveys should pay particular attention to the need to advertise and improve survey access via targeted and tailored techniques.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)556-64
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Psychosocial Oncology
Volume31
Issue number5
Early online date11 Jul 2013
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2013

Keywords

  • Adult
  • Female
  • Health Surveys
  • Humans
  • Internet
  • Male
  • Neoplasms
  • Reproducibility of Results
  • Survivors

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