Objectives: To evaluate gender differences of initial posters in threads dealing with bladder cancer on an online discussion board. Method: 529 threads opened between 09/2005 and 03/2012 were screened on the largest German speaking bladder cancer online discussion board. 366 threads fulfilled the requirements for this study. Gender, age, number, status of concern and oncological situation of initiating posters as well as their motives and language style were analyzed following a standardized protocol. Results: Threads were initiated in 45% (164/366) by men and in 55% (202/366) by women. Mean age of male initiating posters was 50 years and of female posters 44 years (p < 0.001). Of males 80% (132/164) were concerned patients and 20% (32/164) relatives or friends. Of females they were 39% (78/202) and 61% (124/202), respectively (p < 0.001). In general motives for initial posting were focused on medical information and did not differ between both genders. 81% of the posters asked for medical information or therapeutic recommendations regarding diagnosis, treatment and prognosis. However, women significantly more often expressed their wish for emotional support (p = 0.034) and in tendency wanted to share their experiences with others (p = 0.057). Language analysis revealed that women significantly more often used a tentative language style than men (p = 0.003). Conclusion: Even though women are less often affected by bladder cancer, they are more active -especially for their concerned family members - on the evaluated discussion board than men. Whereas both genders equally often ask for medical information, women more often want to share their experiences and look for emotional support.
Research Areas and Centers
- Research Area: Luebeck Integrated Oncology Network (LION)