Online Communication Tied to Positive Appraisal of Tx Decisions

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Online Communication Tied to Positive Appraisal of Tx Decisions
Online Communication Tied to Positive Appraisal of Tx Decisions

FRIDAY, July 29, 2016 (HealthDay News) -- For women with newly diagnosed breast cancer, frequent online communication users more positively appraise their decision making, according to a research letter published online July 28 in JAMA Oncology.

Lauren P. Wallner, Ph.D., M.P.H., from the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, and colleagues characterized online communication use in a diverse, population-based sample of women with a new diagnosis of breast cancer. A cohort of 3,631 women aged 20 to 79 years with newly diagnosed breast cancer were surveyed a mean of six months after diagnosis about their treatment experiences (2,578 respondents). Data were included for 2,460 women with complete information regarding online communication use and their appraisal of decision making.

The researchers found that 41.2 percent of women reported some or frequent use of online communication, most often for e-mail or texting (34.7 percent), while use of social media and web-based support groups were less common (12.3 and 11.9 percent, respectively). Women who were frequent online communication users more positively appraised their decision making compared with never users. They were more likely to report a more deliberative decision and to report high decision satisfaction (adjusted odds ratios, 1.67 and 1.45, respectively).

"Findings from this study suggest that frequent use of online communication may be associated with more positive appraisal of treatment decision making," the authors write. "Additional research is needed before these modalities can be leveraged to improve patient care experiences."

One author disclosed prior grant funding from GlaxoSmithKline.

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