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Developing web-tools for older cancer patients: Effects and underlying processes of using a tailored patient-directed web tool

PhD Student: Melanie de Looper MSc

In this PhD project it is investigated how implementing an online patient-directed tool can influence the processing, understanding and recall of health messages aimed at older cancer patients.

First, in an experiment it will be studied how online health information should be presented to older cancer patients to increase motivation to process the information, understanding of the information and recall of the information. Based on the outcomes of this study an online patient-directed tool will be developed.

In a randomized controlled trial, the effectiveness of exposure to a patient-directed web tool that is tailored to older colorectal cancer patients, compared to exposure to a standard website will be investigated. Effectiveness will be measured in terms of the patients’ (i.e.) evaluation of the communication, understanding of the information provided and recall of the information provided. In addition, underlying processes will be taken into account and differences between older (≥ 70 year) and younger (< 70 year) patients due to age-related factors will be studied.

Ultimately, the aim is to provide guidance for optimizing online patient-directed tools aimed at older cancer patients.  


Drs. M. (Melanie) de Looper

PhD Student

Prof. J.C.M. (Julia) van Weert