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Health Literacy and Radiation Therapy: a Current State Assessment of Patient Education Materials

Health Literacy and Radiation Therapy: a Current State Assessment of Patient Education Materials In order to mitigate low levels of health literacy among patients, there is need to evaluate patient education (PE) materials and to ensure that the information is readily accessible to patients. The quality and comprehensiveness of radiation therapy materials were evaluated at fourteen cancer centres. To assess quality, PE leaders independently conducted readability, actionability and understandability assessments of materials. To evaluate comprehensiveness, an assessment was conducted of the scope of symptoms covered in extant materials, and the modality they were produced in (e.g. pamphlet, video). A total of 555 PE materials were reviewed for comprehensiveness and modality and seventy underwent evaluation against health literacy best practice standards. Most materials (n = 64, 91%) had a reading grade level above the recommended grade 6 (x¯\documentclass[12pt]{minimal}\usepackage{amsmath}\usepackage{wasysym}\usepackage{amsfonts}\usepackage{amssymb}\usepackage{amsbsy}\usepackage{mathrsfs}\usepackage{upgreek}\setlength{\oddsidemargin}{-69pt}\begin{document}$$\overline{x}$$\end{document} = 9, range = 4–12). Under half (n = 34, 49%) scored at or above the 80% threshold for understandability (x¯\documentclass[12pt]{minimal}\usepackage{amsmath}\usepackage{wasysym}\usepackage{amsfonts}\usepackage{amssymb}\usepackage{amsbsy}\usepackage{mathrsfs}\usepackage{upgreek}\setlength{\oddsidemargin}{-69pt}\begin{document}$$\overline{x}$$\end{document} = 74%, 33–100%) and just over half (n = 36, 51%) scored at or above the 80% target for actionability (x¯\documentclass[12pt]{minimal}\usepackage{amsmath}\usepackage{wasysym}\usepackage{amsfonts}\usepackage{amssymb}\usepackage{amsbsy}\usepackage{mathrsfs}\usepackage{upgreek}\setlength{\oddsidemargin}{-69pt}\begin{document}$$\overline{x}$$\end{document} = 71%, 33–100%). Only two cancer centres (n = 2/14, 14%) had PE materials covering the breadth of symptoms related to radiation therapy and the vast majority of materials were pamphlets (89%). Findings indicate that most radiation therapy PE materials used in cancer centres do not meet health literacy best practices, and there is a disparity between cancer centres in the topics that are available to patients and family. This evaluation highlights the need to better incorporate health literacy best practices into the development of radiation therapy PE materials and strategies to improve accessibility of such health information. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Journal of Cancer Education Springer Journals

Health Literacy and Radiation Therapy: a Current State Assessment of Patient Education Materials

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Publisher
Springer Journals
Copyright
Copyright © The Author(s) under exclusive licence to American Association for Cancer Education 2022. Springer Nature or its licensor holds exclusive rights to this article under a publishing agreement with the author(s) or other rightsholder(s); author self-archiving of the accepted manuscript version of this article is solely governed by the terms of such publishing agreement and applicable law.
ISSN
0885-8195
eISSN
1543-0154
DOI
10.1007/s13187-022-02208-1
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

In order to mitigate low levels of health literacy among patients, there is need to evaluate patient education (PE) materials and to ensure that the information is readily accessible to patients. The quality and comprehensiveness of radiation therapy materials were evaluated at fourteen cancer centres. To assess quality, PE leaders independently conducted readability, actionability and understandability assessments of materials. To evaluate comprehensiveness, an assessment was conducted of the scope of symptoms covered in extant materials, and the modality they were produced in (e.g. pamphlet, video). A total of 555 PE materials were reviewed for comprehensiveness and modality and seventy underwent evaluation against health literacy best practice standards. Most materials (n = 64, 91%) had a reading grade level above the recommended grade 6 (x¯\documentclass[12pt]{minimal}\usepackage{amsmath}\usepackage{wasysym}\usepackage{amsfonts}\usepackage{amssymb}\usepackage{amsbsy}\usepackage{mathrsfs}\usepackage{upgreek}\setlength{\oddsidemargin}{-69pt}\begin{document}$$\overline{x}$$\end{document} = 9, range = 4–12). Under half (n = 34, 49%) scored at or above the 80% threshold for understandability (x¯\documentclass[12pt]{minimal}\usepackage{amsmath}\usepackage{wasysym}\usepackage{amsfonts}\usepackage{amssymb}\usepackage{amsbsy}\usepackage{mathrsfs}\usepackage{upgreek}\setlength{\oddsidemargin}{-69pt}\begin{document}$$\overline{x}$$\end{document} = 74%, 33–100%) and just over half (n = 36, 51%) scored at or above the 80% target for actionability (x¯\documentclass[12pt]{minimal}\usepackage{amsmath}\usepackage{wasysym}\usepackage{amsfonts}\usepackage{amssymb}\usepackage{amsbsy}\usepackage{mathrsfs}\usepackage{upgreek}\setlength{\oddsidemargin}{-69pt}\begin{document}$$\overline{x}$$\end{document} = 71%, 33–100%). Only two cancer centres (n = 2/14, 14%) had PE materials covering the breadth of symptoms related to radiation therapy and the vast majority of materials were pamphlets (89%). Findings indicate that most radiation therapy PE materials used in cancer centres do not meet health literacy best practices, and there is a disparity between cancer centres in the topics that are available to patients and family. This evaluation highlights the need to better incorporate health literacy best practices into the development of radiation therapy PE materials and strategies to improve accessibility of such health information.

Journal

Journal of Cancer EducationSpringer Journals

Published: Aug 3, 2022

Keywords: Radiation therapy; Health literacy; Cancer; Patient education

References