According to NCI, the service received 500,000 calls in 1996. In one survey, users tended to be generally very satisfied with the communications from their treating physicians, had strong information needs, and preferred to participate in their treatment plans (Manfredi et al., 1993). However, in that study, 80 percent of the respondents were patients; that is, it was not clear how well CIS disseminates cancer prevention, screening, and early detection guidelines before diagnosis. In addition, no data on the minority status of the users were available.

In addressing these questions, CIS provided the information presented in Tables 5-1 and 5-2. It should be noted that the committee did not formally analyze these data statistically. However, Table 5-1 indicates that less than 15 percent of calls to the CIS telephone service were from minorities,

TABLE 5-1 Race or Ethnicity of Callers to CIS Telephone Service (1997)

Race or Ethnic Category

Percentage of Callers

Percentage of U.S. Population

Asians or Pacific Islanders

2.1

3.6

Black (non-Hispanic)

6.0

12.1

Hispanic

4.5

10.7

Native American/Alaska Native

0.9

0.9

White (non-Hispanic)

85.0

72.3

Other/mixed

1.6

 

NOTE: Data are for calls to the CIS telephone service (1-800-4-CANCER) in 1997.

SOURCE: National Cancer Institute.

TABLE 5-2 Subjects of Inquiry to CIS Telephone Service

Subject

Percentage of Callers

Prevention/risk

4.9

Screening/diagnosis

6.2

Treatment

35.1

Psychosocial

3.3

Site information

19.8

Organizations

5.5

Health professionals

8.1

Support Services

8.5

Other

8.6

NOTE: Data are for calls to the CIS telephone service (1-800-4-CANCER) in 1997. SOURCE: National Cancer Institute.



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