HEALTH. No to fake news, the university course to communicate on cancer is underway

The Covid-19 epidemic-pandemic of the past two years has revived, with even more explosive tones, the theme of fake news in the medical-scientific field. The constant bombardment of information amplified by the virtual network could not fail to have consequences for those who, subjected to therapeutic routes to combat a tumor, proved to be more vulnerable to the phenomenon. To the point of leading them to hasty and erroneous decisions.

Cancer patients in treatment, reveals a study of nearly 900 subjects and recently published in Patient Education and Counseling, highlight a greater vulnerability to misinformation about Covid-19. Quite widespread practice online and with social networks among the main suspects. An aspect, the latter, which on the contrary does not seem to affect those who, despite being affected by cancer, have completed the cycle of treatments.

Meanwhile, another survey of over 500 subjects with neoplasia highlights how the internet is a point of reference for 3 out of 4 people, yet only 5% receive advice from their medical oncologist on where to pursue issues further. . health related.

Finally, another study, carried out by the Polytechnic University of Marche on 75 health workers, showed that half of the “sample” examined had/did not have specific training in the field of communication: even if 93.4% wish to acquire/improve adequate skills .

Here, then, precisely in Ancona, at the Polytechnic University, the first course of specialization with a targeted vocation will begin on June 16: “Communicating about cancer, medicine and health”. Fifty places have been made available for the online form on a weekly and semester basis: registration closes on 19 April.

The course, promoted by the Faculty of Medicine and Surgery of the University of Marche in collaboration with WHIN (Web Health Information Network) provides, as access conditions, a three-year or master’s degree or a comparable qualification obtained at the stranger. One hundred and sixty hours of lessons in total and more than 35 hours for internships. The course is part of a larger planning, communicate cancersupported by an ad hoc portal – www.comunicareilcancro.it – and from the respective social profiles.

“The fundamental objective – explains Mauro Boldrini, Communication Director of AIOM (Italian Association of Medical Oncology) – is to provide the right tools for the dissemination of correct information at the oncological level and beyond, using safe and effective sources. An example? Canceling the equation cancer = incurable disease: in Italy, 5 years after diagnosis, 65% of women and 59% of men are alive”.

The teaching subjects of the new course include: Clinical Oncology, General and Applied Hygiene, Neurology, Narrative Medicine, Organization of Healthcare Companies, History of Communication in Medicine, Forensic Medicine, Teamwork until Communication of Victories / defeats, effective communication on radio, TV, online and printed newspapers, not without thinking about the right rules for managing news and conducting interviews.

“Social media – explains Rossana Berardi – professor of medical oncology at the Polytechnic University and director of the Oncology Clinic of Ospedali Riuniti in Ancona – can have an important impact in the treatment of chronic diseases such as tumors. Patients who access social media want to be part of a community to feel less alone and solicit feedback. Comparison with those in similar conditions generates positive expectations and can promote correct behavior in others.”

Marco Valeriani

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