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New educational booklet helps patients prepare for a colonoscopy
Date:4/12/2011

e the risk for cancer is associated with the physical preparation by the patients themselves," said Spiegel, an associate professor of medicine in the division of digestive diseases at the VA Greater Los Angeles Healthcare System and the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA. "The worse the prep is, the fewer polyps we can identify and remove."

In preparing the booklet, the team first met with patients to glean knowledge, attitudes and beliefs that might drive inadequate colonoscopy preparation. Researchers then created the educational booklet using high-quality visual elements, such as pictures of what patients can and cannot eat during colonoscopy preparation. The booklet also included a section on frequently asked questions and a checklist and calendar for when to take purgatory medications to cleanse and clear the bowel. Researchers ran the draft booklet by another group of patients before finalizing it.

Next, the team tested the effectiveness of the booklet by sending it to a group of 216 patients at a single VA hospital a week ahead of their scheduled colonoscopy procedures. A control group of 220 patients received the normal preparation instructions.

Researchers found that patients given the booklet were far more likely to arrive for their colonoscopy with a "good" preparation than patients who had received the usual preparation instructions (68 percent vs. 46 percent).

For every 3.3 booklets that were sent out, researchers found that there was one additional "good" or better preparation, compared with the control group. Booklet use increased the odds of good colonoscopy preparation by 3.7 times.

The next step in the research is to study the impact of the booklet on outcomes such as polyp yield, as well as the overall cost of care.

According to Spiegel, poor colonoscopy preparation can lead to the canceling of procedures and rescheduling and repeating tests, which not only costs money but al
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Contact: Rachel Champeau
rchampeau@mednet.ucla.edu
310-794-2270
University of California - Los Angeles Health Sciences
Source:Eurekalert

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