September 14, 2008

Survey Says #2: The Internets

Never. Almost never. Sometimes. Often. Always. I confess: I love taking surveys. If you do too, have at The Healthy Communication Survey, created by Dr. Jeong-Nam Kim at Purdue University. Even if you don’t share my strong admiration for surveys, you should take this one anyway. Here’s why:

Many reports show the Internet is a good way to obtain information and interact with others who experience similar health issues. Take for example a great study from the Pew Internet and American Life Project. It shows that yes, we young ones take the prize: Out of every age group, health seekers age 18-29 cite the most benefits from online health information.

Although such reports show the habits of online health seekers, few reveal the down and dirty theoretical workings behind the hours we spend staring at the screen and clicking away. (For any of you on Planet Cancer’s myplanet, you know the addiction about which I speak.)

Enter the Healthy Communication Survey, whose goal is to uncloak the theoretical explanation behind the Internet and health communities. Theory shmeory, what’s the point? When cancer and other health organizations seek funding for online learning and support projects, they’ve gotta pony up the proof that this is a real service to us. They’ve gotta justify the need by showing the nitty gritty behinds the scenes benefits that online resources play in our lives and our health. Why do we use them? What role are they filling? How does the Internet change the way we manage our health?

As a constituent of the young adult cancer experience, take seven minutes to chime in with your opinions. And stay tuned here for the final results of the survey.

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