Internet-Based Health Care Communication Among Cancer Survivors, 2011-2018 National Health Interview Survey

Bian Liu, K. Robin Yabroff, Zhiyuan Zheng, Ronald Tamler, Xuesong Han

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Introduction Understanding trends and associated factors in internet-based health care communication (IBHC) among cancer survivors is important for meeting patient needs because their reliance on telehealth is growing. We aimed to examine IBHC use among cancer survivors in the US. Methods We identified adult cancer survivors aged 18 to 64 (n = 8,029) and 65 or older (n = 11,087) from the National Health Interview Sur- vey in 2011-2018. We calculated temporal trends of self-reported IBHC in the previous year (filled a prescription, scheduled a medical appointment, or communicated with a health care provider) and used multivariable logistic models to identify associated factors. Results Approximately 84% of survivors had been diagnosed 2 years or more before the survey. IBHC prevalence increased among cancer survivors aged 18 to 64, from 19.3% to 40.2%, and among those aged 65 or older, from 11.4% to 22.6%, from 2011 to 2018 (P for trend <.001). Among both age groups, lower educational attainment, lack of usual source of care, and current smoking were associated with less IBHC, whereas residing in the South or West, having 1 or more chronic conditions, and drinking any alcohol were associated with higher IBHC (all P <. 05). Factors associated with less IBHC also included being non-Hispanic Black or Hispanic, lacking private insurance, and being 11 or more years postdiagnosis among survivors aged 18 to 64; among survivors aged 65 or older, factors were being an older age, not married, and non-US born (all P <. 05). Conclusion IBHC among cancer survivors is common and increasing, with differences across sociodemographic and behavioral characteristics. As health care delivery continues adopting IBHC and other advanced telehealth techniques, disparities need to be addressed to ensure equitable access to care for all cancer survivors.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-13
Number of pages13
JournalPreventing chronic disease
StatePublished - 2021
Externally publishedYes


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