While the digital divide remains a special problem in health care, providers' reluctance to refer patients to the Internet is an equally important problem. The Bridging the Digital Divide Project: Your Access to Cancer Information was designed with two target audiences in mind - consumers and health care providers. A total of 256 providers from varied health care settings enrolled in workshops over a 10-month period (2001-2002). Results suggest differences in awareness and use of on-line cancer information among providers and confirm that many providers need to become more comfortable with referring patients to on-line information. At completion of the workshops, all participants reported an increased awareness of cancer information websites, increased confidence in making judgments about the reliability and appropriateness of the sites, an increased willingness to discuss Internet information sources with patients and their family members, and an increased awareness of and intention to use the CIS. Providers from the community hospital were more likely than other groups to report that what they had learned about the Internet was helpful and that their comfort level using the Internet had increased. Partnerships between providers and the CIS may help to further increase this comfort level, ultimately benefiting cancer patients.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Health(social science)
- Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
- Library and Information Sciences