Social comparison and patient information: What do cancer patients want?

Femke T C Bennenbroek*, Bram P. Buunk, K.I. Van der Zee, Brigit Grol

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to JournalArticleAcademicpeer-review


The present study focuses on social comparison processes among cancer patients. The sample consisted of 60 (ex-) cancer patients who participated in a course "coping with cancer". This study examined several aspects of social comparison: the need for comparison, the preferred direction of comparison and the influence of mode (information or contact seeking) and dimension (illness severity or coping) of social comparison as well as indicators of low well-being. The results show that the need for comparison is particularly enhanced among those who evaluate their own health negatively. In addition, the results show that patients prefer to receive information about others who are better off, but also want contact with others who are better off. In addition, they are specifically interested in receiving information about others who are coping better. Practical implications are discussed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)5-12
Number of pages8
JournalPatient Education and Counseling
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2002


  • Affiliation
  • Cancer
  • Social comparison


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