APBN New Site

APBN Developing Site

AstraZeneca Research Shows Significant Gaps in Online Sources of Information for Lung Cancer Patients

Outdated or complex information prevails in 11 studied countries, potentially inhibiting patients’ ability to make informed decisions about their care.

A research by AstraZeneca revealed that information on lung cancer can be difficult to access for patients and caregivers, is often outdated and sometimes inaccurate.

While the quality and accessibility of information varied considerably between the 11 countries studied, including the US, Japan, Canada, and across Europe, gaps in information were identified across all regions.

The analysis of 885 websites showed that although sources of information differed between countries, globally news sources were the leading type of website (42%). The impact of news media content requires careful consideration if patients are to have balanced information.

The research also shows that information on treatment options, when available, was often either too complex or too high-level and incomplete. Chemotherapy was the most frequently mentioned treatment option, included in 58 per cent of sources, followed by radiation therapy (44%), surgery (40%), Immuno-Oncology (IO) therapies (38%) and targeted therapies (33%).

Anne-Marie Baird, PhD, Lung Cancer Europe said, “More and more people impacted by lung cancer use the internet as their primary source of information. However, this information is not necessarily accurate or accessible, and can lack context for most patients. There is a need for community stakeholders to work together to ensure clear, curated and easily understandable information is readily available for patients in their own languages”.

The research showed that high quality information is available, but action may be needed to help patients find it in the wider information landscape. Search engine optimisation of content from patient group/professional organisation/healthcare provider organisation websites was good for general search terms (e.g. “information on lung cancer” or “different types of lung cancer”). However, when the search terms were more specific, for example “biomarker testing” or “chemoradiotherapy” (added to “lung cancer”) these websites appeared much less frequently. [APBN]