BACKGROUND: Health care providers often counsel prostate cancer patients about treatment options with medical terminology.
However, studies have demonstrated a severe lack of comprehension of these terms, particularly in underserved populations. It was hypothesized that a video-based educational tool would significantly improve the understanding of key terms related to prostate health in a predominantly lower literacy population.
METHODS: A software application was developed by various experts, including urologists and human-computer interaction specialists, to serve as a video-based educational tool emphasizing narrated animations to promote understanding of terms related to urinary, bowel, and sexual function. This application was viewed by patients recruited from 2 low-income safety net clinics, where a previously developed survey was administered to assess pre- and postintervention levels of comprehension.
RESULTS: Fifty-six patients with a mean literacy level of 7th to 8th grade completed the study. Patients achieved statistically significant improvements in comprehension for the majority of the terms after the video intervention, with notable improvements including the terms incontinence (from 14% to 50%), bowels (from 14% to 46%), and impotence (from 58% to 84%). Patients demonstrated significant gains in their understanding of the function of the prostate (from 11% to 30%) and in their ability to locate the prostate on anatomic drawings (from 50% to 82%).
CONCLUSIONS: This video-based educational tool is an effective method for overcoming the severe lack of comprehension of prostate health terminology among patients. The improvements achieved have the potential to enhance patient participation in shared and informed decision making and to support combined visual-audio multimedia as a promising tool for prostate cancer education.
Wang DS, Jani AB, Sesay M, Tai CG, Lee DK, Echt KV, Goodman MG, Kilbridge KE, Master VA. Are you the author?
Department of Medicine, Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
Reference: Cancer. 2014 Nov 12. Epub ahead of print.