Journal of Cancer Education

, Volume 31, Issue 1, pp 70–74 | Cite as

Development and Evaluation of Patient Education Materials for Elderly Lung Cancer Patients

  • Natalie Jewitt
  • Andrew J. Hope
  • Robin Milne
  • Lisa W. Le
  • Janet Papadakos
  • Nazek Abdelmutti
  • Pamela Catton
  • Meredith E. GiulianiEmail author


Patients treated for lung cancer are often elderly presenting a unique challenge for developing patient education materials. This study developed and evaluated a patient education pamphlet on lung stereotactic body radiotherapy (SBRT) designed specifically for an elderly population. The SBRT pamphlet was developed using a participatory design involving a convenience sample of patients. This prospective study assessed patient’s opinions of pamphlet effectiveness through self-report questionnaires. The pamphlet was deemed “effective” if patients rated 16/18 evaluation statements as “strongly agree” or “agree.” Demographic data and health literacy (Rapid Estimate of Adult Literacy in Medicine short-form (REALM-SF)) were also assessed. Patient opinion of pamphlet “effectiveness” was compared between patients with REALM-SF scores of 7 versus <7 using Fisher’s exact test. The overall EQ-5D-5L score was compared for patients who did and did not find the pamphlet effective using the Wilcoxon-Mann-Whitney test. Thirty-seven patients participated. The median age was 76 years (range 56–93) and 22 patients (59 %) had ≤high school education. Most patients preferred to have verbal (65 %) or written (78 %) educational materials as opposed to online information or educational classes. Thirty-two patients (86 %) rated the pamphlet as effective. The proportion of patients who found the pamphlet effective was 85.7 versus 86.7 % (p = 1.00) in those with REALM 7 versus <7. The mean EQ-5D score was 67.5 (SD 19.1) versus 71.8 (SD 8.7) (p = 0.84) in those who found the pamphlet effective versus not. Participatory design is an effective method for developing education materials for challenging patient groups such as elderly patients. Despite advanced age and comorbidity, this patient group had adequate health literacy.


Stereotactic body radiotherapy Lung cancer Patient education Older adults Health literacy 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  • Natalie Jewitt
    • 1
  • Andrew J. Hope
    • 1
    • 5
  • Robin Milne
    • 1
  • Lisa W. Le
    • 2
  • Janet Papadakos
    • 3
  • Nazek Abdelmutti
    • 4
  • Pamela Catton
    • 1
    • 5
  • Meredith E. Giuliani
    • 1
    • 5
    Email author
  1. 1.Radiation Medicine ProgramPrincess Margaret Cancer CentreTorontoCanada
  2. 2.Department of BiostatisticsPrincess Margaret Cancer CentreTorontoCanada
  3. 3.Patient Education and SurvivorshipPrincess Margaret Cancer CentreTorontoCanada
  4. 4.ELLICSR Wellness ProgramPrincess Margaret Cancer CentreTorontoCanada
  5. 5.Department of Radiation OncologyUniversity of TorontoTorontoCanada

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