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2007 NCI Cancer Bulletin Reader Survey Results

Introduction
Who reads the NCI Cancer Bulletin?
How do readers rate the NCI Cancer Bulletin?
How do people read the NCI Cancer Bulletin?
Why do people read the NCI Cancer Bulletin?
What do readers like about the NCI Cancer Bulletin?

Introduction

Launched in January 2004, the NCI Cancer Bulletin is a biweekly electronic publication produced by NCI's Office of Communications and Education (OCE). The NCI Cancer Bulletin contracted with the Academy for Educational Development (AED) to conduct an evaluation of the newsletter to help ensure that we are meeting the needs of our readers. This information will be used to further refine and improve the NCI Cancer Bulletin.

AED developed and programmed a Web-based survey that was distributed to approximately 29,000 subscribers in the fall of 2007. More than 3,200 subscribers responded and most also submitted written feedback, story ideas, and suggestions on how to improve the newsletter.

Analysis of the completed surveys determined the following overall results.

Who reads the NCI Cancer Bulletin?

Five key audiences read the NCI Cancer Bulletin. Respondents were asked to select a term that best described them as a subscriber from among five key categories and 24 subcategories.


NCI Cancer Bulletin Subscriber Details

 

Percent

Science/health care professional

41.0

     Physician

15.0

     Nurse or nurse practitioner

12.7

     Health care administrator

1.9

     Case manager/social worker

1.4

     Pharmacist

1.1

     Other science/health care professional

9.5

Touched by cancer

23.5

     Cancer survivor

10.9

     Currently diagnosed with cancer

4.8

     Caring for a person with cancer

3.2

     Concerned about someone with cancer

1.9

     Member of a cancer advocacy group

1.6

     Concerned that I may have cancer or be at risk for cancer

1.0

Researcher/scientist

16.0

Other professional

15.6

     Public health educator/communications professional

5.0

     Administrator/manager

3.6

     Educator/teacher

1.5

     Graduate student

1.5

     Librarian/information professional

0.9

     Journalist

0.7

     Other professional

2.2

Member of the general public

3.4

     Student

0.5

     Other

2.9

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How do readers rate the NCI Cancer Bulletin?

Overall rating of the NCI Cancer Bulletin is high across all audiences. When asked to evaluate the NCI Cancer Bulletin as a reliable source of information using a scale ranked from 1 (least favorable rating) to 10 (most favorable rating), the mean (average) score was 8.6. Of all reader audiences, Persons Touched by Cancer rated the Bulletin most favorably (mean = 8.8); followed by Health Professionals (mean = 8.6), General Public (mean = 8.6), Other Professionals (8.5), and Researchers (mean = 8.2).


Satisfaction Rating of the NCI Cancer Bulletin

Readers rate the NCI Cancer Bulletin favorably on key characteristics. A majority of respondents rated the Bulletin favorably when asked to indicate their agreement with a number of characteristics of the Bulletin using a four-point scale ranging from strongly disagree (scored as 1) to strongly agree (scored as 4). A majority of respondents (98%) agreed or strongly agreed that the Bulletin is a credible source of information on cancer. A majority also agreed or strongly agreed that the content is informative (97%), the writing is easy to understand (97%), the coverage of cancer is comprehensive (84%), and it is visually appealing (90%). Additionally, a majority said they disagreed or strongly disagreed that the information is not up to date (90%), redundant with other sources (83%), issues are hard to navigate (91%), and issues are too long (91%).


Ratings of NCI Cancer Bulletin Characteristics

Survey Item

Strongly
Agree

Agree

Disagree

Strongly
Disagree

It is a credible source of information on cancer.

61%

37%

1%

>1%

It is written in a way that is easy for me to understand.

39%

58%

2%

1%

Overall, the content is very informative.

42%

55%

3%

>1%

It is visually appealing.

22%

68%

8%

2%

It is comprehensive in its coverage of cancer.

25%

59%

15%

2%

The information is redundant with other sources I use.

2%

15%

67%

16%

It is too long.

2%

7%

68%

23%

The information is not as up-to-date as I would like it to be.

2%

8%

63%

27%

It is hard for me to navigate and find what I'm looking for.

2%

7%

59%

32%

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How do people read the NCI Cancer Bulletin?

Most people read every or almost every issue. When asked to indicate how many of the issues they look at or read, ranging from none to every issue, the majority (68%) said they read every or almost every issue.


Number of Issues Typically Read

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Why do people read the NCI Cancer Bulletin?

Most readers first subscribed to stay informed about the latest news related to cancer. Readers were asked to select from among 10 options to best describe why they first subscribed to the NCI Cancer Bulletin.


Reason Subscribed to NCI Cancer Bulletin

 

Percent

To keep informed on the latest news related to cancer

38.4%

To gain or maintain professional knowledge

21.5%

I regard NCI as a credible source of information

11.8%

I or someone I know was diagnosed with cancer or undergoing treatment

10.0%

To gain knowledge about a specific cancer

6.0%

The general content was of interest to me

5.9%

To find out about clinical trials

2.0%

To receive information on research funding opportunities

1.9%

There was a specific or recurring section or feature that interested me.

0.5%

Other

1.9%

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What do readers like about the NCI Cancer Bulletin?

Cancer Research Highlights is the most popular section. Respondents were asked to indicate how often they read various sections of the NCI Cancer Bulletin using four categories ranging from never read (scored as 1) to always read (scored as 4).


Frequency of Reading Sections of the NCI Cancer Bulletin

Survey Item

Always Read

Often Read

Occasionally Read

Never Read

Cancer Research Highlights

45.1%

38.6%

15.7%

0.6%

Featured article

32.2%

46.6%

20.7%

0.5%

Special Report

28.4%

45.5%

25.5%

0.7%

Spotlight

23.2%

41.7%

33.4%

1.8%

Featured Clinical Trial

22.6%

33.6%

38.2%

5.6%

Director's Update

17.3%

34.9%

40.8%

7.0%

Community Update

11.7%

27.5%

45.5%

15.3%

Notes

10.3%

25.2%

50.1%

14.5%

Funding Opportunities

12.4%

17.4%

37.8%

32.4%

Readers rate most sections as useful. Readers were asked to indicate how useful the different sections of the NCI Cancer Bulletin are, using four categories ranging from not at all useful (scored as 1) to very useful (scored as 4).


Ratings of Usefulness for Sections of the NCI Cancer Bulletin

Survey Item

Very
Useful

Moderately
Useful

Not Too
Useful

Not at All
Useful

Cancer Research Highlights

53%

42%

4%

1%

Featured article

44%

51%

4%

1%

FDA Update

41%

47%

10%

2%

Special Report

30%

60%

8%

1%

Spotlight

28%

60%

11%

1%

A Closer Look

24%

61%

13%

2%

Featured Clinical Trials

30%

49%

17%

4%

Legislative Updates

26%

47%

20%

7%

Director's Update

21%

54%

21%

4%

A Conversation With

17%

58%

22%

3%

Guest Commentary

15%

60%

21%

4%

Community Update

16%

47%

28%

9%

Notes

13%

55%

27%

6%

Funding Opportunities

16%

32%

32%

20%

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Questions or suggestions?

If you have questions about the NCI Cancer Bulletin survey, or if you have feedback or suggestions for the newsletter, please contact us at ncicancerbulletin@cancer.gov.

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