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Emerging Infectious Diseases Journal
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Volume 7: No. 2, March 2010

ORIGINAL RESEARCH
Profiles of 800,000 Users of the National Cancer Institute’s Cancer Information Service Since the Debut of Online Assistance, 2003-2008

Count
Months 2003-2008 Telephone E-mail LiveHelp
Jan 17130 354 961
Feb 13966 399 899
Mar 14512 432 881
Apr 22407 404 929
May 15077 396 937
Jun 15085 392 963
Jul 14098 427 1169
Aug 13701 352 1175
Sep 14157 409 1239
Oct 15517 458 1366
Nov 10808 333 1038
Dec 11230 359 1018
Jan 13457 385 1216
Feb 12320 430 1189
Mar 15250 440 1462
Apr 12482 418 1242
May 11242 360 1028
Jun 11839 866 927
Jul 11257 936 912
Aug 11674 923 895
Sep 11131 962 837
Oct 12297 911 837
Nov 11301 932 932
Dec 8349 773 534
Jan 4630 862 346
Feb 5486 918 724
Mar 9791 1005 763
Apr 8800 836 730
May 7957 816 605
Jun 8800 836 623
Jul 8541 715 571
Aug 9744 930 747
Sep 8497 749 750
Oct 8710 866 672
Nov 7956 786 643
Dec 7569 736 537
Jan 8969 831 723
Feb 8195 743 662
Mar 10098 881 750
Apr 8128 762 636
May 8487 843 652
Jun 8710 866 685
Jul 8222 720 634
Aug 9470 816 716
Sep 8788 823 740
Oct 9563 1162 1272
Nov 7979 1080 1226
Dec 6937 893 1333
Jan 8539 1194 1501
Feb 7621 1087 1355
Mar 8568 952 1434
Apr 7954 579 1490
May 7047 644 1561
Jun 6573 638 1465
Jul 6752 616 1431
Aug 7711 573 1389
Sep 6895 580 879
Oct 8767 815 1025
Nov 6733 705 823
Dec 5521 623 894
Jan 7899 624 1737
Feb 7432 728 1530
Mar 7496 730 1693
Apr 8047 906 1935
May 7094 678 1734
Jun 7079 718 1658
Jul 7518 697 1843
Aug 7121 622 1602
Sep 7870 705 1939
Oct 8301 818 2163
Nov 5602 613 1581
Dec 5842 683 1531

Figure 1. Number of calls (A), LiveHelp contacts (B), and e-mails (C) to the National Cancer Institute’s Cancer Information Service, 2003-2008.

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Mean age by month by access
Months 2003-2008 Telephone LiveHelp
Jan 51.42  
Feb 51.38  
Mar 51.63  
Apr 55.98  
May 51.92  
Jun 53.38  
Jul 52.06  
Aug 51.54  
Sep 51.59  
Oct 50.57  
Nov 51.02 40.06
Dec 51.97 41.12
Jan 50.68 40.95
Feb 50.21 37.73
Mar 50.31  
Apr 49.29 38.68
May 50.44 42.60
Jun 50.36 41.88
Jul 50.42 39.98
Aug 50.90 39.69
Sep 50.25 39.81
Oct 50.61 38.21
Nov 51.57  
Dec 51.41  
Jan 48.75  
Feb 53.36  
Mar 49.40  
Apr 53.50  
May 56.20  
Jun 52.60  
Jul 50.99 43.04
Aug 52.04 41.95
Sep 52.53 39.84
Oct 51.87 38.87
Nov 51.52 40.60
Dec 51.63 40.83
Jan 52.70 39.52
Feb 53.28 40.92
Mar 52.22 38.90
Apr 52.59 39.79
May 53.10 39.54
Jun 53.39 39.58
Jul 53.15 40.85
Aug 53.55 40.20
Sep 53.73 42.27
Oct 52.78 41.46
Nov 52.97 40.35
Dec 52.66 40.91
Jan 52.94 39.38
Feb 53.10 40.53
Mar 53.59 41.41
Apr 53.03 39.81
May 53.83 43.81
Jun 54.66 44.76
Jul 54.57 41.67
Aug 54.66 45.34
Sep 53.76 42.74
Oct 53.08 41.69
Nov 51.98 38.33
Dec 52.81 41.31
Jan 53.85 42.04
Feb 54.08 41.25
Mar 54.04 40.33
Apr 53.79 41.44
May 54.62 41.70
Jun 53.25 41.79
Jul 53.52 41.44
Aug 53.00 40.83
Sep 53.18 42.90
Oct 51.95 43.11
Nov 53.46 43.67
Dec 53.77 42.17

Figure 2. Mean age of telephone callers and LiveHelp users of the National Cancer Institute’s Cancer Information Service, 2003-2008. Telephone callers (mean age, 52 y; standard deviation, 15.4 y) were significantly older than LiveHelp users (mean age, 41 y; standard deviation, 13.2 y) across all 6 years (independent samples t test, P < .001). For some periods during reorganization of Cancer Information Service infrastructure (breaks in the red line above), age was not collected in LiveHelp.

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Mean educational level by month by access
Months 2003-2008 Telephone LiveHelp
Jan 4.12  
Feb 4.11  
Mar 4.11  
Apr 4.20  
May 4.09  
Jun 4.08  
Jul 4.15  
Aug 4.10  
Sep 4.08  
Oct 3.99  
Nov 4.02 4.45
Dec 4.07 4.51
Jan 4.02 4.33
Feb 4.01 4.43
Mar 4.05  
Apr 4.08 4.56
May 4.07 4.57
Jun 4.10 4.43
Jul 4.11 4.50
Aug 4.06 4.34
Sep 4.04 4.33
Oct 4.05 4.41
Nov 4.10 4.30
Dec 4.10 4.55
Jan 4.05 4.20
Feb 4.08 4.40
Mar 4.00 4.50
Apr 4.05 4.40
May 4.03 4.30
Jun 4.02 4.40
Jul 4.05 4.28
Aug 4.09 4.55
Sep 4.05 4.19
Oct 4.03 4.42
Nov 4.04 4.52
Dec 4.07 4.39
Jan 4.05 4.42
Feb 4.04 4.38
Mar 4.04 4.35
Apr 4.00 4.52
May 4.07 4.54
Jun 4.11 4.33
Jul 4.09 4.50
Aug 4.12 4.52
Sep 4.07 4.48
Oct 4.04 4.34
Nov 4.14 4.36
Dec 4.14 4.23
Jan 4.07 4.45
Feb 4.04 4.09
Mar 4.04 4.22
Apr 4.04 4.36
May 4.09 4.49
Jun 4.06 4.54
Jul 4.10 4.36
Aug 4.07 4.59
Sep 4.02 4.42
Oct 4.01 4.34
Nov 4.01 4.62
Dec 3.98 4.45
Jan 4.04 4.41
Feb 4.05 4.42
Mar 4.07 4.39
Apr 3.96 4.41
May 3.98 4.58
Jun 3.98 4.51
Jul 3.99 4.39
Aug 3.98 4.40
Sep 3.92 4.42
Oct 3.98 4.42
Nov 3.99 4.47
Dec 3.97 4.45

Figure 3. Mean educational level of telephone callers and LiveHelp users of the National Cancer Institute’s Cancer Information Service, 2003-2008. We classified educational level on a 6-point scale as follows: 1, grade school; 2, some high school; 3, high school graduate; 4, some college; 5, college graduate; and 6, postgraduate. LiveHelp users reported significantly more education across all 6 years (independent samples Mann-Whitney U test, P < .001) than did telephone callers. For some periods during reorganization of Cancer Information Service infrastructure (breaks in the red line above), educational level was not collected in LiveHelp.

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Mean income level by month by access
  Telephone LiveHelp
Jan 4.21 5.02
Feb 4.09 4.63
Mar 4.04 4.95
Apr 4.19 4.93
May 4.15 5.13
Jun 4.16 4.92
Jul 4.14 4.97
Aug 4.07 5.12
Sep 4.13 4.89
Oct 3.98 4.81
Nov 4.02 4.96
Dec 4.12 5.19
Jan 4.06 4.78
Feb 4.04 4.99
Mar 4.17 4.88
Apr 4.01 4.85
May 4.03 5.11
Jun 4.10 4.91
Jul 4.07 4.66
Aug 3.98 4.91
Sep 3.90 5.08
Oct 3.96 4.67
Nov 3.87 4.92
Dec 3.87 4.81

Figure 4. Mean household income of telephone callers and LiveHelp users of the National Cancer Institute’s Cancer Information Service, 2007 and 2008. We classified household income on a 7-point scale as follows: 1, <$10,000; 2, $10,000-$19,000; 3, $20,000-$29,000; 4, $30,000-$39,000; 5, $40,000-$59,000; 6, $60,000-$79,000; and 7, ≥$80,000. LiveHelp users reported significantly more income than did telephone callers both years (independent samples Mann-Whitney U test, P < .001). Income data were not collected before January 2007.

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The findings and conclusions in this report are those of the authors and do not necessarily represent the official position of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.


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