Journal of Primary Health Care Journal of Primary Health Care Society
Journal of The Royal New Zealand College of General Practitioners
RESEARCH ARTICLE (Open Access)

Breast cancer information communicated on a public online platform: an analysis of ‘Yahoo! Answer Japan’

An Ohigashi 1 2 , Salim Ahmed 1 , Arfan R. Afzal 1 , Naoko Shigeta 1 2 , Helen Tam-Tham 3 , Hideyuki Kanda 4 , Yoshihiro Ishikawa 2 , Tanvir C. Turin 1 3
+ Author Affiliations
- Author Affiliations

1 Department of Family Medicine, University of Calgary, Calgary, Alberta, Canada

2 Cardiovascular Research Institute, Yokohama City University School of Medicine, Yokohama, Japan

3 Department of Community Health Science, University of Calgary, Calgary, Alberta, Canada

4 Department of Environmental Medicine and Public Health, School of Medicine, Shimane University, Shimane, Japan

Correspondence to: Tanvir C. Turin, Department of Family Medicine, Room G012E, Health Sciences Center, 3330 Hospital Drive Northwest, Calgary, Alberta T2N 4N1, Canada. Email: turin.chowdhury@ucalgary.ca

Journal of Primary Health Care 9(2) 167-172 https://doi.org/10.1071/HC16048
Published: 9 June 2017

Journal Compilation © Royal New Zealand College of General Practitioners 2017.
This is an open access article licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.

Abstract

INTRODUCTION: Japan is a developed country with high use of Internet and online platforms for health information. ‘Yahoo! Answer Japan’ is the most commonly used question-and-answer service in Japan.

AIM: To explore the information users seek regarding breast cancer from the ‘Yahoo! Answer Japan’ web portal.

METHODS: The ‘Yahoo! Answer Japan’ portal was searched for the key word ‘breast cancer’ and all questions searched for the period of 1 January to 31 December 2014 were obtained. The selected questions related to human breast cancer and were not advertisements or promotional material. The questions were categorized using a coding schema. High and low access of the questions were defined by the number of view-counts.

RESULTS: Among the 2392 selected questions, six major categories were identified; (1) suspected breast cancer, (2) breast cancer screening, (3) treatment of breast cancer, (4) life with breast cancer, (5) prevention of breast cancer and (6) others. The highest number of questions were treatment related (28.8%) followed by suspected breast cancer-related questions (23.4%) and screening-related questions (20%). Statistical analysis revealed that the treatment-related questions were more likely to be highly accessed.

CONCLUSION: Content analysis of Internet question–answer communities is important, as questions posted on these sites would serve as a rich source of direct reflection regarding the health-related information needs of the general population.

KEYWORDS: Breast cancer; ‘Yahoo! Answer Japan’; epidemiology


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