Head and neck cancer patient and family member interest in and use of E-mail to communicate with clinicians

Sarah H. Kagan, Sean P. Clarke, Mary Beth Happ

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

Abstract

Background. E-mail is actively discussed as a promising method for clinical communication, but little study of patient and family preferences regarding its use has been done. This study aimed to describe patients' and family members' interest in and use of E-mail with their surgeons and nurses after head and neck cancer surgery. Methods. Surveys were distributed to patients and family members attending postoperative clinic visits. Seventy-four patients and 35 caregivers completed the surveys. Results. Although one in three patients expressed interest in E-mailing their clinicians, only 9.5% reported actually doing so. Symptom management and prescription refills were the most common issues addressed by E-mail. Few family members expressed any interest in using E-mail. Conclusions. The findings suggest that E-mail communication between patients with head and neck cancer or their family members with surgeons and nurses is not common. Interest in using E-mail tends to be stronger among patients than family members.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)976-981
Number of pages6
JournalHead and Neck
Volume27
Issue number11
DOIs
StatePublished - Nov 2005

Keywords

  • Communication
  • E-mail
  • Family
  • Head and neck surgery
  • Patient
  • Survey

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Otorhinolaryngology

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