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Interactive media improved patients’ understanding of cancer surgery by more than a third
Date:10/4/2010

Patients facing planned surgery answered 36 per cent more questions about the procedure correctly if they watched an interactive multimedia presentation (IMP) rather than just talking to medical staff, according to research in the October issue of the urology journal BJUI.

Researchers from the University of Melbourne, Australia, randomised 40 patients due to undergo radical prostatectomy into two groups. The first group went through the standard surgery consent process, where staff explained the procedure verbally, and the second group watched the IMP.

Both sets of patients were then asked to answer 26 questions on the surgery they were due to undergo. 78 per cent of the IMP group achieved high test scores, compared with 57 per cent of the control group.

When they switched the two groups over, the control group's score went up by 11 per cent after the IMP, with the group who had originally seen the presentation showing no change.

"Our standard consent process comprised of patients receiving detailed information about the procedure from physicians and nurses, while the IMP provided consistent and animated information on the same topic" explains co-author Dr Nathan Lawrentschuk from the University's Department of Urology.

"The 51-slide IMP covered basic anatomy, how the prostate works and how the operation is carried out. It also outlined possible complications and provided postoperative information. 22 of the slides contained interactive questions that had to be answered correctly before the patient could move on to the next slide."

Patients completed the consent procedure about three-and-a-half weeks before their planned surgery. They had an average age of 61 and 70 per cent of the patients in both groups spoke English as their first language. Both groups had a similar education profile and the IMP only required minimal computer skills to complete.

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Contact: Annette Whibley
wizard.media@virgin.net
Wiley-Blackwell
Source:Eurekalert

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