Searching for Health Information reviews the research on the process of seeking health information and contributes to that literature by analyzing the largest available database on health-information-seeking behavior, the Cancer Information Service (CIS), a referral service sponsored by the National Cancer Institute. But the book is not only about CIS. Vicki S. Freimuth, Judith A. Stein, and Thomas J. Kean describe the general context in which people search for health information about a variety of diseases and other health concerns. They then present a theoretical overview of the nature of information and the way people search for it. By analyzing data obtained from more than a million calls to CIS over a four-year period and by studying follow-up surveys of over 7500 of these callers, the authors contribute to our understanding of the process of information seeking.
The communication of health information is increasingly important, and this book breaks new ground in its analysis of one successful system.