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2010 NCI Cancer Bulletin Reader Survey Results

2010 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 other tools do NCI Cancer Bulletin readers use to find cancer-related news?


Introduction

The NCI Cancer Bulletin is a biweekly electronic publication produced by National Cancer Institute’s Office of Communications and Education (OCE). OCE contracted with the Academy for Educational Development (AED) to evaluate overall satisfaction and to provide staff with information on how to improve the newsletter.

AED developed and programmed a Web-based survey that was distributed to approximately 50,608 subscribers in the fall of 2010. Close to 4,300 subscribers responded. Many also submitted written feedback, content ideas, and suggestions on how to improve the newsletter. The overall results mirror our 2007 survey and while there are obvious limitations with any voluntary survey, the data and suggestions will help inform the Bulletin’s future plans for meeting reader needs and expectations.

Analysis of the completed surveys determined the following overall results.

Who reads the NCI Cancer Bulletin?

Four key audiences read the NCI Cancer Bulletin. Respondents were asked to select a term that best described them as a subscriber from among 10 key categories and 29 subcategories.

Forty-eight percent of respondents identified themselves as health care professionals, 25 percent as someone who was touched by cancer or as a member of the general public, 19 percent as researchers or scientists, and 9 percent as other professionals.

NCI Cancer Bulletin Subscriber Details

 

Percent

Health care professional47.6
Physician20.6
Nurse or nurse practitioner15.7
Other medical/health professional11.3
Touched by cancer/General public24.5
Cancer patient/survivor15.5
Cancer patient family member/friend5.8
Member of the general public2.0
Student1.2
Researcher/scientist18.7
Principal investigator/lead researcher9.1
Research manager/coordinator4.0
Research analyst/associate1.9
Research assistant1.1
Other researcher2.5
Other professional9.1
Librarian/information professional0.6
Information technology professional0.3
Journalist0.5
Administrator/manager3.0
Communications professional1.7
Teacher/educator0.4
Advocate1.6
Other professional1.0

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How do readers rate the NCI Cancer Bulletin?

Overall assessment of satisfaction with 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 overall mean score was 8.4. Of all reader audiences, “People touched by cancer/General public” rated the Bulletin most favorably (mean = 8.7); followed by “Other professionals” (mean = 8.5), “Health care professionals” (8.4), and “Researchers/Scientists” (mean = 8.4).


Satisfaction Rating of the NCI Cancer Bulletin

Overall satisfaction with the Bulletin was rated 8.4 on a scale of 10; health care professionals rated it 8.4, researchers and scientists rated it 8.4, other professionals rated it 8.5, and people touched by cancer or members of the general public rated it 8.7.

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 (99%) 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%), it is a good way to stay up-to-date on cancer topics (96%), the writing is easy to understand (97%), the coverage of cancer is comprehensive (85%), and it is visually appealing (89%). Additionally, a majority said they disagreed or strongly disagreed that the information is not as timely as they would like it to be (86%), redundant with other sources (78%), issues are hard to navigate (88%), and articles are too long (76%).


Ratings of NCI Cancer Bulletin Characteristics

Survey Item

Strongly
Agree
(4)

Agree
(3)

Disagree
(2)

Strongly
Disagree
(1)

 

Mean
It is a credible source of information on cancer.57%42%1%>1%3.5
It is a good way for me to stay up-to-date on cancer topics.39%57%4%>1%3.4
It is written in a way that is easy for me to understand.34%63%3%>1%3.3
Overall, the content is very informative.37%60%3%>1%3.3
It is visually appealing.17%72%10%1%3.1
It should include more information about NCI resources.10%48%38%3%2.7
Some of the articles are too long.2%21%66%10%2.2
The information is redundant with other sources I use.3%19%67%11%2.1
The information is not as timely as I would like it to be.2%11%70%16%2.0
It is hard for me to navigate and find what I'm looking for.2%10%66%22%1.9

A majority of readers think the level of scientific and technical detail in the NCI Cancer Bulletin is “just right.” Among respondents, 80% reported that the Bulletin’s articles have the right level of scientific and technical detail.


Ratings on the Level of Scientific and Technical Detail of the NCI Cancer Bulletin

The vast majority of survey respondents, 80 percent, think the level of scientific and technical detail in Bulletin stories is just right. Nine percent felt the level was not detailed enough, and 4 percent felt there was not enough detail.

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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 (58%) said they read every or almost every issue.


Number of Issues Typically Read

More than three-quarters of respondents said that they read every or most of the issues that are published; the remaining 18 percent said that they read about half or fewer of the issues that are published.

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Why do people read the NCI Cancer Bulletin?

Most readers reported they continue reading the Bulletin to stay informed of the most recent cancer research findings. Readers were asked to select from among 11 options to best describe why they continue to read the NCI Cancer Bulletin.


Reasons Why Readers Continue to Read NCI Cancer Bulletin

 Percent
To stay informed of the most recent cancer research findings.30%
To gain or maintain professional knowledge.21%
To stay informed of the latest developments and activities at NCI.17%
The general content is of interest to me.11%
To gain knowledge about a specific cancer.7%
I or someone I know was diagnosed with cancer or is undergoing treatment.5%
It comes from NCI.4%
To find out about clinical trials.2%
There was a specific or recurring section or feature that interested me.1%
There is a specific or recurring section that is of interest to me.1%
Other1%

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What other tools do NCI Cancer Bulletin readers use to find cancer-related news?

The most common online communication tools used by readers include video sharing sites, social networking sites, and blogs.


Communication tools used by NCI Cancer Bulletin readers in the past year.

 

Percent

YouTube or other video sharing sites46%
Facebook, MySpace, Ning, or other social networking sites43%
Blogs or other sites where individuals can post their thoughts and opinions40%
Yahoo Groups or other e-mail groups29%
RSS or other syndication feeds14%
Twitter or other microblogs10%
Delicious, Digg, or other bookmarking sites3%
Other7%

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What other sources do readers use to find cancer-related news?

Most readers use health and medical Web sites to get news on cancer-related topics.


Sources used by NCI Cancer Bulletin readers to obtain cancer-related information in the past year.

 

Percent

Health/medical Web sites (e.g., WebMD, Medline)73%
Cancer-specific organizations other than NCI (e.g., American Cancer Society)72%
Professional journals and publications (e.g., JAMA)72%
NCI Web site (www.cancer.gov)65%
Professional meetings and conferences64%
Health care providers (e.g., physician, nurse)48%
Mainstream media (e.g., TV, radio, newspapers, magazines)45%
Co-workers29%
Other Web sites (not health/medical)24%
Other NCI newsletters (e.g., division newsletters)22%
Family and/or friends17%
Cancer support groups17%
Social media (e.g., blogs, Facebook, Twitter, etc.)11%
Other2%

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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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