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Patient Educ Couns. 2004 Mar;52(3):325-32.

Evaluating patient education materials about radiation therapy.

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  • 1Community Services, Queensland Cancer Fund, Spring Hill, Qld 4006, Australia.


Targeted treatment education for cancer patients has the potential to promote adjustment through assisting patients to participate in treatment decision making, comply with treatment regimens and cope more effectively with treatment side effects. A quasi-experimental longitudinal pre-test post-test and follow-up design was used to assess the effect of a patient education video about radiation therapy on patients' psychological distress, knowledge about radiation therapy, self-efficacy about coping with treatment and physical symptoms. Patients with head and neck (n=26) and breast cancer (n=66) were recruited into the study and allocated into control and intervention groups. No significant differences were found between the control and intervention groups on any of the outcome variables. However, patients in the intervention group reported high levels of satisfaction with the video and all reported that they would recommend the video to other patients preparing for radiation therapy. As well, 90% of patients in the intervention group reported that some or all of the information in the video was new to them. Education materials that have excellent face validity and that are well received by patients may fail to produce significant change using standard controlled study designs. Future research in this area may need to consider alternative paradigms for evaluating the helpfulness of such materials.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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