Cancer patients turning to mass media, non-experts for info
The increasing use of expensive medical imaging procedures in the US like positron emission tomography scans is being driven, in part, by patient decisions made after obtaining information from lay media and non-experts, and not from health care providers. The study sought to understand what drives cancer patients to seek such inappropriate procedures, to help inform interventions or policies to stem their overuse. The authors theorized that exposure to cancer-related information may play a role. They suggested that the potential benefit of new medical technologies receives substantial attention in the lay media and may promote positive attitudes toward the role of imaging technology such as PET.
The increasing use of expensive medical imaging procedures in the U.S. like positron emission tomography (PET) scans is being driven, in part, by patient decisions made after obtaining information from lay media and non-experts, and not from health care providers.That is the result from a three-year-long analysis of survey data, and is published in the article , “Associations between Cancer-Related Information Seeking and Receiving PET Imaging for Routine Cancer Surveillance — An Analysis of Longitudinal Survey Data,” appearing in the journal Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers & Prevention. Andy S. Tan, Ph.D., a post-doctoral fellow with the University of Pennsylvania’s Annenberg School for Communication, is the lead author of the study. Co-authors are Laura Gibson, Ph.D.; Hanna M. Zafar, MD; Stacy W. Gray, MD; Robert C. Hornik, Ph.D.; and Katrina Armstrong, MD.Data for this analysis were obtained from a longitudinal cohort study comprising three annual mailed surveys between 2006 and 2008 and completed by patients diagnosed with breast, prostate, or colorectal cancers. Over 2,000 individuals participated in the study, funded by the National Cancer Institute.”Clinical guidelines do not recommend PET for post-treatment surveillance among asymptomatic cancer survivors,” explains Dr. Tan and the study’s other authors. …
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