Breast Cancer Conduits: A Study

1932 Words 8 Pages
In a study of breast cancer patients, Civan, McDonald, Unruh, and Pratt (2009) referred to patient expertise as the knowledge gained by managing and coping with disease, including practical everyday management, treatment decisions, side effects, social relationships, and daily responsibilities. Recognizing their need for information, breast cancer patients actively search for expertise from informal sources and personal networks of friends, family, other patients, or healthcare professionals not directly involved in their treatment. (Civan et al.,2009)
Expertise can also come in the form of unsolicited offers, where family, friends, or strangers offer advice and help. Unsolicited offers can be helpful or unhelpful, depending on the patient’s
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Conduits “carry information resources between participants and sources outside their support community.” (Civan et al., 2009 p. 294) Conduits can relay stories and advice of friends that battled breast cancer or informal information from health professionals not involved in care. Contact Brokers foster introductions to sources of expertise, such as face to face meetings with friends that have had breast cancer. Champions are sources of specialized information “who bridged knowledge across domains and helped participants fill in gaps and synthesize information they obtained.” (Civan et al.,2009 p. 294) Champions are most likely breast cancer survivors themselves that have additional medical knowledge, such as a nurse or medical …show more content…
Online health communities provide “information-related activities, including seeking information, providing information, exchanging information, and constructing knowledge with peers [that] can cultivate a sense of competence in managing the disease, by helping users gain or exercise knowledge and skills. (Zhang, 2015, p. 11) “The convenience of these groups can help individuals initiate and maintain a larger network of people who they can turn to during moments of crisis, or to help them maintain positive well being on a day-to-day basis.” (Wright, 2002, p.

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