The NCI's Cancer Information Service: Meeting the public's cancer information needs via the internet
The Cancer Information Service (CIS) of the National Cancer Institute (NCI) added e-mail and instant chat to its telephone service (1-800-4-CANCER, 1-877-44U-QUIT). While most CIS contacts are still via telephone, internet contacts have increased from 9000 in 2001 to over 20,000 in 2006. The NCI leveraged 30 years of CIS telephone experience to understand the needs of Internet information seekers. Online users are more likely to contact CIS on behalf of someone else. Instant chat users are younger and more educated than telephone users. They report high satisfaction levels, increased knowledge, and other positive effects from their interactions. Patients and their families can benefit from awareness of CIS online services and health care providers can be confident in directing them to CIS.