This study addresses whether having a broad social network of close friends equips cancer patients with increased efficacy to engage in communication about their cancer, which then leads to an increased likelihood of patients actively seeking cancer-related information. Guided by the theory of motivated information management, the study also tests whether the effect of the number of close social ties on information seeking is mediated, in part, by communication efficacy. Results are based on data collected from a randomly drawn sample from the Pennsylvania Cancer Registry of 2,013 cancer patients who completed mail surveys in the Fall of 2006. Results are consistent with a cross-sectional mediation effect in which the number of close social ties in one's social network is positively associated with communication efficacy (b = .17, p = .001), which, in turn, is positively associated with cancer-related information seeking (b = .13, p < .001).
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
The authors acknowledge the funding support of the National Cancer Institute’s Center of Excellence in Cancer Communication (CECCR) located at the Annenberg School for Communication, University of Pennsylvania (grant P50-CA095856-05).
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Health(social science)
- Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
- Library and Information Sciences