Exploring predictors of and barriers to online prostate cancer community use: A cross‐sectional survey of users and non‐users

Pyle, Denise and Tehan, Gerry and Lamont-Mills, Andrea ORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0002-9109-3462 and Chambers, Suzanne K. (2021) Exploring predictors of and barriers to online prostate cancer community use: A cross‐sectional survey of users and non‐users. Psycho-Oncology. pp. 1-8. ISSN 1057-9249


Objective: Prostate cancer survivors are increasingly turning to online communities for support. This study explored predictors of and barriers to use. Methods: A prospective survey of 141 Australian prostate cancer survivors assessed sociodemographic, clinical, psychosocial, and attitudinal characteristics associated with intention to use, and subsequent use of online communities. Results: The sample was divided into current, past, and non-user groups. Current users reported more intent to use online communities and had higher levels of social support. Current and past users, and their close contacts, held a more positive attitude towards use. Non-users experienced more barriers to use, fewer life impacts due to health changes, and were more likely to live in rural or remote regions. According to current users online prostate cancer communities are too informal, to past users they are too time intensive, and non-users believe they are too shallow. The most critical barriers to use were finding a suitable community, time to use them, and being capable of talking about or articulating their illness on the Internet. While these forums allow men to share experiences, gain recognition and understanding, and receive information, they may lead men to becoming too preoccupied with their illness and feeling more concerned about the consequences of their disease. Conclusion: Improving attitudes towards online communities and reducing barriers to use may help better encourage men with unmet supportive care needs to seek help from these groups. Future research exploring supporter attitudes towards use and explicating how men are supported online is needed.

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Item Type: Article (Commonwealth Reporting Category C)
Refereed: Yes
Item Status: Live Archive
Faculty/School / Institute/Centre: Historic - Faculty of Health, Engineering and Sciences - School of Psychology and Counselling (1 Jan 2015 - 31 Dec 2021)
Faculty/School / Institute/Centre: Current - Institute for Resilient Regions - Centre for Health Research (1 Apr 2020 -)
Date Deposited: 01 Mar 2022 22:49
Last Modified: 01 Mar 2022 22:49
Uncontrolled Keywords: psycho-onology; prostate cancer; online forums; internet; cancer; oncology; online social networking; prostatic neoplasms
Fields of Research (2008): 11 Medical and Health Sciences > 1117 Public Health and Health Services > 111708 Health and Community Services
17 Psychology and Cognitive Sciences > 1701 Psychology > 170106 Health, Clinical and Counselling Psychology
Fields of Research (2020): 42 HEALTH SCIENCES > 4203 Health services and systems > 420302 Digital health
52 PSYCHOLOGY > 5203 Clinical and health psychology > 520304 Health psychology
Socio-Economic Objectives (2008): C Society > 92 Health > 9205 Specific Population Health (excl. Indigenous Health) > 920504 Men's Health
C Society > 92 Health > 9201 Clinical Health (Organs, Diseases and Abnormal Conditions) > 920102 Cancer and Related Disorders
Socio-Economic Objectives (2020): 20 HEALTH > 2005 Specific population health (excl. Indigenous health) > 200504 Men's health
Identification Number or DOI: https://doi.org/10.1002/pon.5867
URI: http://eprints.usq.edu.au/id/eprint/47031

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