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Web-based electronic health information systems for prostate cancer patients
BC Cancer Agency, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, BC, Canada
Jun  2005 (Vol.  12, Issue  3, Pages( 2700 - 2709)


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    Providing men with prostate cancer (MPC) timely access to their health records and information (HRI) can enhance their ability to understand their condition and engage in shared medical decision making with their health care provider (HCP). The Internet is a potential means of enhancing such interactions.


    Two surveys were conducted at a PC support group in Victoria, BC to identify the health information needs of MPC and the ability to access their HRI. Another objective was to identify the potential role of web-enabled HRI systems at meeting these needs. Sixty-one participants (41 men and 18 spouses/significant others (SS)) completed the first convenience survey and 16 participants then took part in a focus group meeting using a second questionnaire.


    The majority of men (median age 70 years) were knowledgeable with the computer and Internet. The majority of men (75%) desired the ability to access their HRI through means other than by meeting with their HCP, with the Internet ranking as one of the most desired methods. There was broad interest in accessing various parts of their health record and during different phases of their care. Most men were willing to try a personalized patient web-enabled HRI system. Over 70% of SS desired the ability to access their men's HRI.


    The surveys indicate that the Internet is a desirable means of accessing electronic HRI and support the potential role of web-enabled HRI systems for PC patients.