IDEAS home Printed from
MyIDEAS: Log in (now much improved!) to save this article

Ethnic differences in choices of health information by cancer patients using complementary and alternative medicine: an exploratory study with correspondence analysis

Listed author(s):
  • Kakai, Hisako
  • Maskarinec, Gertraud
  • Shumay, Dianne M.
  • Tatsumura, Yvonne
  • Tasaki, Katsuya
Registered author(s):

    This study examined patterns in the use of health information among Caucasian, Japanese, and non-Japanese Asian Pacific Islander cancer patients in Hawaii and explored the relation of ethnicity and educational level to choices of health information sources. Information from 140 cancer patients, most of whom were users of complementary and alternative medicine (CAM), was analyzed using correspondence analysis. Three clusters of health information pertinent to the three ethnic groups emerged from the data. The results of this study revealed that Caucasian patients preferred objective, scientific, and updated information obtained through medical journals or newsletters from research institutions, telephone information services, and the internet. Japanese patients relied on media and commercial sources including television, newspapers, books, magazines and CAM providers. Non-Japanese Asians and Pacific Islanders used information sources involving person-to-person communication with their physicians, social groups, and other cancer patients. A higher educational level was closely related to a cluster of health information stressing objective, scientific and updated information, while a lower educational level was associated with interpersonally communicated information. The three ethnicity-specific patterns of health information use remained relatively stable at different educational levels, implying that the effect of patients' ethnicity overrides their educational level in shaping their choices of health information. The results of this study indicate the importance of recognizing cancer patients' culturally developed world views when understanding their health information-seeking behavior. For medical practice, these findings indicate the need for healthcare providers to assist cancer patients to obtain accurate health information in a culturally sensitive way.

    If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.

    File URL:
    Download Restriction: Full text for ScienceDirect subscribers only

    As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to look for a different version under "Related research" (further below) or search for a different version of it.

    Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Social Science & Medicine.

    Volume (Year): 56 (2003)
    Issue (Month): 4 (February)
    Pages: 851-862

    in new window

    Handle: RePEc:eee:socmed:v:56:y:2003:i:4:p:851-862
    Contact details of provider: Web page:

    Order Information: Postal:

    No references listed on IDEAS
    You can help add them by filling out this form.

    This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

    When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:eee:socmed:v:56:y:2003:i:4:p:851-862. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Dana Niculescu)

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

    If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    This information is provided to you by IDEAS at the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis using RePEc data.