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

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Pyle, Denise
Tehan, Gerry
Lamont-Mills, Andrea
Chambers, Suzanne K
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2021
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Abstract

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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Psycho-oncology

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This publication has been entered as an advanced online version in Griffith Research Online.

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Clinical sciences

Biomedical and clinical sciences

Psychology

Science & Technology

Social Sciences

Life Sciences & Biomedicine

Oncology

Psychology

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Pyle, D; Tehan, G; Lamont-Mills, A; Chambers, SK, Exploring predictors of and barriers to online prostate cancer community use: A cross-sectional survey of users and non-users, Psycho-oncology, 2021

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