Radiation Oncology History/Education/Social Media

PV QA 3 - Poster Viewing Q&A 3

TU_43_2912 - Effective Methodologies for Patient Education in Radiation Oncology

Tuesday, October 23
1:00 PM - 2:30 PM
Location: Innovation Hub, Exhibit Hall 3

Effective Methodologies for Patient Education in Radiation Oncology
P. J. Ioannides1, B. Birckhead2, A. D. Currey2, and S. P. H. Lee1; 1University of California, Irvine, Orange, CA, 2Medical College of Wisconsin, Milwaukee, WI

Purpose/Objective(s): Education is essential for patients to comprehend the indication, risks, and benefits involved in radiotherapy, leading to increased confidence and decreased anxiety during treatment. Previously published assessments in patient education have included widely varied interventions. By providing a literature overview, this work aims to identify effective methodologies used for patient education in radiation oncology.

Materials/Methods: Ovid MEDLINE database was searched for relevant articles using appropriate Boolean operations with the following search terminologies: patient education, health education, health information, health literacy, radiotherapy, and brachytherapy. Further restrictions to English language, human studies, and full text resulted in 383 articles. Publications available only in abstract form were excluded, likewise for articles that were not prospective and studies without educational intervention before or during radiation. A total of 16 publications were in the final analysis. Descriptive statistics is used to present the findings.

Results: The 16 publications meeting our search criteria included published single-arm (8), comparison-arm (3), and randomized control (5) trials from 1988 to 2017. Interventions included virtual environment education (5), other digital forms such as web-based (3), video (1) or audio (1), written information dissemination in the form of printed educational materials or booklets (2), and staff-led teaching (4). This resulted in a total cohort of 1925 patients with the mean age of the patients being 62 (range: 28-94) years. The most prevalent diagnosis was breast followed by prostate cancer. The primary endpoints examined included assessment of relevant knowledge gained regarding the involved disease and anxiety alleviation surrounding treatments. There were statistically significant reductions in fear and anxiety, and improved knowledge in all studies that used virtual-reality environment, digital learning, or staff-led interventions. Therapist-led interventions were found to be superior to control in three randomized trials. Interventions using written information showed improvement in anxiety relief in one of two randomized trials; however, there was no significant difference in patient understanding of their cancer or the radiotherapy treatment process.

Conclusion: The use of virtual reality, digital learning or staff-led educational interventions can lead to increased knowledge and decreased anxiety for patients undergoing radiotherapy. The traditional use of written materials may not improve patient understanding, but additional studies to ascertain possible benefit is warranted. Further refinement of each interventional methodology may improve the efficacy in patient education and promote comfort with radiation therapy.

Author Disclosure: P.J. Ioannides: None. B. Birckhead: None. A.D. Currey: Honoraria; Wisconsin Oncology Network. S.P. Lee: None.

Pericles Ioannides, MD

Disclosure:
No relationships to disclose.

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