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J Natl Cancer Inst Monogr. 1993;(14):139-45.

Evaluation of the National Cancer Institute's clinical trials booklet.

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  • 1Cancer Information Service, Fox Chase Cancer Center, Cheltenham, Pa.


Evaluating the impact of written materials is a means to enhance the effectiveness of patient education, yet few controlled studies of publications have been completed. In 1984, as a result of a needs assessment, the National Cancer Institute (NCI) developed and pretested the booklet "What Are Clinical Trials All About?" The booklet was designed to help cancer patients make informed decisions about participation in clinical trials, which are critical for improving cancer treatment. The booklet, which is currently available, has been used internationally as a model for communicating information on clinical trials. Since 1985, the booklet has been used by the Cancer Information Service (CIS) as an educational tool for answering questions from cancer patients about treatment and clinical trials. The CIS, which has traditionally assisted NCI in the development and testing of educational materials, was involved in the pretesting and particularly the posttesting of this booklet. The CIS regional offices at Fox Chase Cancer Center and Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center together with National Institutes of Health Clinical Center and North Memorial Medical Center conducted a posttest evaluation of the booklet's effectiveness for cancer patients. Two hospitals tested the booklet on patients who were eligible for a specific clinical trial, and two hospitals tested the booklet on patients who were theoretically eligible for a clinical trial (with a cancer site and stage for which a trial existed). Patients were randomly assigned: 203 experimental subjects received the booklet, and 194 control subjects were not given the booklet until after a 2-week posttest examining attitudes, knowledge, and beliefs about clinical trials.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS)

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