Westat @ 2022 Society of Behavioral Medicine

In collaboration with staff from the National Cancer Institute (NCI), Westat researchers are presenting 2 posters regarding research pertaining to NCI’s Cancer Information Service (CIS) at the 43rd Annual Meeting and Scientific Sessions of the Society of Behavioral Medicine (SBM), to be held April 6-9, 2022, in Baltimore, Maryland. The theme this year is The Urgency of Adaptation.

Westat staff (names in bold) are contributing to the following posters.

Kristin Schrader, Grace Huang, Candace Maynard, and Robin Vanderpool. (Poster). The Importance of Language-Concordant Cancer Information Dissemination: An Analysis of Social Media Inquiries to NCI’s Cancer Information Service.

The authors examined telephone, email, LiveHelp, and social media contacts to the CIS by language. Although most CIS contacts via phone, email, and chat were made in English, social media contacts were made in both English and Spanish at similar rates.  Further, Spanish-language social media contacts were more frequent when discussing cancer screening and staging. These trends suggest that social media may be a valuable channel for health information-seeking among non-English speakers.

Robin Vanderpool, Elizabeth Petraglia, Grace Huang, Ashley Wilson, and Candace Maynard. (Poster). Managing Cancer Costs During the COVID-19 Pandemic: Findings from NCI’s Cancer Information Service.

The authors sought to examine how the COVID-19 pandemic affected information needs for support services and resources to mitigate cancer-related financial distress. They found that during the pandemic, concerns about cancer costs increased among caregivers, survivors, and the general public, particularly when the concerns were also related to cancer screening. This further demonstrates that in the face of a public health crisis when disruptions in preventive services are likely, bi-directional communication can be leveraged to connect individuals to financial resources and help address barriers related to cancer screening.


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