The paper describes the steps in a pilot study taken to develop and evaluate an Internet intervention for cancer patients and family members. The intervention was a shared project of two hospital departments; a volunteer oncology support service, Hope & Cope, and the Health Services Library. Forty subjects were surveyed on their computer use and interest, and of these, half used the Internet to access health and medical information. Of the 40 subjects, 28 participated in an innovative, one-to-one teaching session with a medical librarian where they learned to access Internet sites to find information specific to their needs and subsequently be more confident in their perceived ability to evaluate the information received. Follow up interviews found that the sessions were well received and at two months follow-up the participants attributed their positive well being in large part to the intervention. Internet use by oncology patients and family members in conjunction with skilled help has the potential to contribute in a timely fashion to the well being of those with cancer. Copyright © 2002 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.