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Thyroid Cancer Patients’ Interests and Information Seeking
Behavior: Focused on Online Community Analysis
Int J Thyroidol
Published online April 23, 2020
© 2020 Korean Thyroid Association.

Kyung Ah Park1,2, Sanghee Kim3, Yong Sang Lee1,4,5, Hang-Seok Chang1,4,5 and Cheong Soo Park1,4,5

Thyroid Cancer Center, Gangnam Severance Hospital, Yonsei University College of Medicine1, Department of Nursing,
Graduate School, Yonsei University2, College of Nursing & Mo-Im Kim Nursing Research Institute, Yonsei University3,
Department of Surgery, Yonsei University College of Medicine4, Institute of Refractory Thyroid Cancer, Yonsei University5,
Seoul, Korea
Correspondence to: Yong Sang Lee, MD, PhD, Department of Surgery, Thyroid Cancer Center, Institute of Refractory
Thyroid Cancer, Gangnam Severance Hospital, Yonsei University College of Medicine, 211 Eonju-ro, Gangnam-gu, Seoul
06273, Korea
Received December 3, 2019; Revised March 27, 2020; Accepted March 27, 2020.
This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial License (, which permits unrestricted non-commercial use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
Background and Objectives: Many patients with thyroid cancer are participating in the online community.
Thyroid cancer patients write and read a variety of posts in the online community, and there is a great deal
of data generated in the digital environment. However, few studies have analyzed the online community of
thyroid cancer patients. The purpose of this study is to analyze online community to understand the interests
and information seeking behavior of thyroid cancer patients. Materials and Methods: Data were collected from
August 2017 to September 2019 using statistics from an online community of thyroid cancer patients. The
frequency analysis was performed by collecting the members’ gender, age, average usage time, time-of-day
views, average monthly visits, device distribution, online community inflow query, query within online community,
and content of a post with more than 1000 views per month. Results: Analyzing the online community of thyroid
cancer patients, women accounted for 80.4% of the total, and the age group of people in their 30s and 40s
accounted for 77.5%. Online community subscribers averaged 0.7 visits a day using mobile, with the most
frequent use time between 10pm and 12pm. Frequently used queries are medical staff names, surgery,
recurrence and scar. Posts showed informational and emotional exchanges. Conclusion: Patients with thyroid
cancer have searched for a lot of information about surgery and recurrence. Analyzing the online community
will help to understand the experience of thyroid cancer patients and contribute to the development of online
community intervention.
Keywords : Thyroid cancer, Interests, Information, Online

November 2020, 13 (2)