Cancer communication and informatics research across the cancer continuum.

Hesse, B.W., Beckjord, E., Rutten, L.J.F., Fagerlin, A., & Cameron, L.D. (2015). Cancer communication and informatics research across the cancer continuum. American Psychologist, 70(2), 198-210.

Over the past decade, dramatic changes brought about by a rapid diffusion of Internet technologies, cellular telephones, mobile devices, personal digital assistants, electronic health records, and data visualization have helped to create a revolution in health communication. To under- stand the implications of this communication revolution for cancer care, the National Cancer Institute launched an ambitious set of research priorities under its “extraordinary opportunities” program. We present an overview of some of the relevant behavioral research being conducted within the perspective of this extraordinary opportunity in cancer communication research. We begin by tracing the implications of this research for behavioral scientists across the continuum of cancer care from primary prevention (e.g., tobacco control, diet, exercise, sun protection, and immunization against human papilloma virus), to secondary prevention (e.g., screening for polyps, lesions, and early stage neoplasms), to diagnosis and treatment, post- treatment survivorship, and end of life. Along each point of the continuum, we describe a natural evolution of knowledge from studies on the traditional role of media to research on the changing role of new media and informatics, and we carefully highlight the role that psychological research has played in improving communication- and health-related outcomes along the way. We conclude with an appeal to psychologists of many different backgrounds to join with biomedical researchers, engineers, clinical practitioners, and others to accelerate progress against cancer. 

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