Development of a Website Providing Evidence-Based Information About Nutrition and Cancer: Fighting Fiction and Supporting Facts Online

Merel Rebecca Van Veen, Sandra Beijer, Anika Maria Alberdina Adriaans, Jeanne Vogel-Boezeman, Ellen Kampman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

Abstract

Background: Although widely available, the general public, cancer patients, and cancer survivors have difficulties accessing evidence-based information on nutrition and cancer. It is challenging to distinguish myths from facts, and sometimes conflicting information can be found in different places. The public and patients would benefit from evidence-based, correct, and clear information from an easily recognizable source.

Objective: The aim of this project is to make scientific information available for the general public, cancer patients, and cancer survivors through a website. The aim of this paper is to describe and evaluate the development of the website as well as related statistics 1st year after its launch.

Methods: To develop the initial content for the website, the website was filled with answers to frequently asked questions provided by cancer organizations and the Dutch Dietetic Oncology Group, and by responding to various fiction and facts published in the media. The website was organized into 3 parts, namely, nutrition before (prevention), during, and after cancer therapy; an opportunity for visitors to submit specific questions regarding nutrition and cancer was included. The website was pretested by patients, health care professionals, and communication experts. After launching the website, visitors’ questions were answered by nutritional scientists and dieticians with evidence- or eminence-based information on nutrition and cancer. Once the website was live, question categories and website statistics were recorded.

Results: Before launch, the key areas for improvement, such as navigation, categorization, and missing information, were identified and adjusted. In the 1st year after the launch, 90,111 individuals visited the website, and 404 questions were submitted on nutrition and cancer. Most of the questions were on cancer prevention and nutrition during the treatment of cancer.

Conclusions: The website provides access to evidence- and eminence-based information on nutrition and cancer. As can be concluded from the number of visitors and the number of questions submitted to the website, the website fills a gap.
Original languageEnglish
Article numbere110
JournalJMIR Research Protocols
Volume4
Issue number3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Sep 2015

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