Developing approaches to improve the use of scarce health care resources is of increasing importance in cancer care. Being able to target the provision of information to the primary needs of consumers ensures more productive use of expensive teaching time by health care professionals. Researchers and clinicians have used a variety of measurement techniques to assess the information needs of individuals with cancer at various points in their illness trajectory. The two most common types of scaling techniques used by researchers to measure information needs have been summative and differential. The advantages and disadvantages of using these types of measurements are evaluated. This article describes the development and pilot testing of a measure of the information needs in cancer patients that uses one type of differential scaling technique, Thurstone scaling. This measure was subsequently converted into a patient-friendly computerized program capable of helping consumers identify their information priorities before their medical visits. Individualized teaching may be guided by this new measurement technique in the future.
|Original language||English (US)|
|Number of pages||17|
|Journal||Journal of Nursing Measurement|
|State||Published - Jan 1 1998|
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