Motives for becoming and remaining member of patient associations: a study of 1,810 Swedish individuals with cancer associations.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Patient associations for cancer patients (PACPs) are increasing in number as well as in the number of members. We utilised a questionnaire to investigate how members of 13 PACPs motivated their memberships. The study included 1,810 individuals who had been treated for breast cancer, gynaecological cancer, or prostate cancer. Through questionnaires these individuals were asked to articulate why they became and chose to remain members. Descriptive statistics and content analyses were used to analyse the open and structured questions. Motives for membership reflected both benefits for the individuals and the welfare of others; themes such as 'needs related to having cancer' (reported by 33% as motives for becoming members; 14% for remaining members), 'wanted to use the PACP's information and activities' (24%; 38%) and 'wanted to support the PACP and its possibilities to have an impact' (9%; 20%) were dominant. The theme 'needs and experiences related to having cancer' was more common among members with breast cancer (38%) and ovarian cancer (36%) than among members with prostate cancer (25%), whereas 53% of men with prostate cancer reported 'wanted to use the PACP's information and activities' compared to 19-9% among female members. The motives showed that needs related to having cancer and that activities and information offered by the PACPs were important to the members, as were their beliefs that the PACP prompted issues that were important to the members.


Research areas and keywords

Subject classification (UKÄ) – MANDATORY

  • Cancer and Oncology


  • cancer, patient associations for cancer patients, membership, motives
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1035-1043
JournalSupportive Care in Cancer
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - 2005
Publication categoryResearch