Journal of Primary Health Care Journal of Primary Health Care Society
Journal of The Royal New Zealand College of General Practitioners

Just Accepted

This article has been peer reviewed and accepted for publication. It is in production and has not been edited, so may differ from the final published form.

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

An Ohigashi , Salim Ahmed , Arfan Afzal , Naoko Shigeta , Helen Tam-Tham , Hideyuki Kanda , Yoshihiro Ishikawa , Tanvir Turin


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. Objective: In this study, we conducted quantitative content analysis of questions related to breast cancer in “Yahoo! Answer Japan” during the year 2014. Method: We searched “Yahoo! Answer Japan” portal with the key word “breast cancer” and obtained all questions for a time period of 1 year: January 1, 2014 to December 31, 2014. The questions related to human breast cancer, which were not an advertisement or promotional material, were selected. The questions were categorized using a coding schema. High and low access of the questions were defined based on view-counts. Results: Among the 2392 finally 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 was treatment related (28.8%) followed by suspected breast cancer related question (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 are important, as questions posted on these sites provide a rich source of direct reflections regarding health-related information demanded by the general population.

HC16048  Accepted 10 April 2017

© CSIRO 2017