Using the internet to identify women's sources of breast-health education and screening

Barbara Thomas, Lynnette Leeseberg Stamler, Kathryn D. Lafreniere, Jennifer Out, Tabitha D. Delahunt

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Scopus citations


Health professionals, women's groups, the media and the Internet have all played a role in educating the public about breast health and breast screening methods. Yet, with all the information that is available to women, their participation rates have been less than optimal. This paradox has resulted in the need to learn more about the sources that influence woman to participate in breast screening. In an innovative study using the Internet, over 800 women, primarily from Canada and the United States, were surveyed about their knowledge, attitudes and influences regarding their breast screening practices. Current health status, screening practices and influences of various health professionals on women's health promotion activities were analyzed. Comparisons of the women's perceptions across age groups and national differences between Canadian and American respondents are presented. Women in the older age group reported receiving more encouragement for breast screening activities from physicians, nurses and others than did younger women. American respondents reported perceiving more support from nurses for breast screening than did their Canadian counterparts. A high number of American respondents reported having been diagnosed with breast cancer, while only a small number of Canadian respondents reported this diagnosis. The results from this study can be use in planning health promotion activities relevant to various populations of women. Benefits and limitations of using the Internet as a research medium are briefly discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)33-48
Number of pages16
JournalWomen and Health
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2002
Externally publishedYes


  • Breast health education
  • Breast screening
  • Internet research
  • Questionnaire

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Medicine


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