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Nurses urged to recommend cancer info websites

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Health professionals may underestimate cancer patients’ reliance on internet chemotherapy information, research has found.

A survey of 204 patients undergoing chemotherapy at Northampton General Hospital Trust found around half received online information about their treatment, but 81% of these said health professionals rarely recommended websites.

More than half said they needed further guidance and wanted to have the opportunity to discuss the issues with health professionals, but most said they did not have the opportunity to do so.

The poll found patients placed the most importance on chemotherapy information gained from health professionals, pre-printed hospital leaflets and the internet.

Author of the study Elaine Davies said: ” Health professionals need to determine what information patients are most interested in and how they can offer guidance to credible websites.

“It’s undeniable that reliable information can improve patients’ understanding of chemotherapy and can be a good way of tailoring consultations to address the individual needs of a patient.”

The survey results were published in the British Journal of Cancer.

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