Living with Cancer: an Educational Intervention in Cancer Patients Can Improve Patient-Reported Knowledge Deficit

Abstract

A cancer diagnosis requires significant information to facilitate health care decision making, understand management options, and health care system navigation. Patient knowledge deficit can decrease quality of life and health care compliance. Surveys were distributed to attendees of the Mayo Clinic “Living with and Surviving Cancer” patient symposium January 2015. Follow-up survey was sent to participants 3 months after the symposium. Surveys included demographic data and patient-reported disease comprehension, symptom burden, desired information, and quality-of-life assessment. Demographics: 113 patients completed the pre-intervention survey. Average age was 64.7 years. Disease types included hematologic (N = 50) and solid malignancies (N = 77). Most patients self-reported adequate baseline understanding of their disease (80 %), screening tests (74 %), and monitoring tools (72 %). Lowest knowledge topics were legal issues (13 %) and pain management (35 %). Pre- and post-analysis: 79 of the initial 113 participants completed both surveys. In the post-symposium setting, durable knowledge impact was noted in disease understanding (pre 80 % vs post 92 %), treatment options (pre 60 % vs post 76 %), nutrition (pre 68 % vs post 84 %), and legal issues (pre 15 % vs post 32 %). Most patients desired increased understanding regarding disease, screening tests, nutrition, and stress and fatigue management. The level of desired information for these topics decreased in the post-symposium setting, statistically significant decrease noted in 4 of 5 topics assessed. Knowledge needs and deficit in cancer care range from disease-specific topics, social stressors, and health care navigation. A cancer patient-centered symposium can improve patient-reported knowledge deficit, with durable responses at 3 months, but patient needs persist.

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Acknowledgments

This study was approved by the Mayo Clinic Internal Review Board.

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Correspondence to Ruben A. Mesa.

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There are no financial disclosures, conflicts of interest, and/or acknowledgements from the authors, and/or no funding sources for the manuscript.

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Preliminary data presented as Abstract Only at 20th Congress of European Hematology Association Annual Meeting, Vienna, Austria, June 2015

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Padrnos, L., Bennett, R., Kosiorek, H. et al. Living with Cancer: an Educational Intervention in Cancer Patients Can Improve Patient-Reported Knowledge Deficit. J Canc Educ 33, 653–659 (2018). https://doi.org/10.1007/s13187-016-1123-1

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Keywords

  • Quality of life
  • Cancer symposium
  • Cancer education
  • Educational intervention
  • Patient education
  • Cancer survivorship
  • Survivorship
  • Patient knowledge