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Patient Education: A Comparison of Teaching Strategies for Patients With Brain Neoplasms

Tobi A. Stuart

Sonja Stutzman

Amber D. Hicks

DaiWai Olson

Patient education, brain neoplasms, nursing, teaching strategies
CJON 2019, 23(5), E81-E86. DOI: 10.1188/19.CJON.E81-E86

Background: A diagnosis of cancer, specifically a brain neoplasm, can be daunting and confusing to patients and their family members. It is important to find ways to provide education about diagnosis, symptoms, medications, treatment, and side effects in a usable and retrievable format.

Objectives: The aim of this study was to examine the impact of the following three teaching strategies on patients’ knowledge and understanding of their diagnosis: standard of care (SOC), which includes a generic folder of information (strategy 1); tailored paper binder (strategy 2); or SOC plus Technology Enhanced Active Learning (TEAL) (strategy 3).

Methods: This was a prospective pre-/post-test pilot study including patients who had been diagnosed with brain neoplasms.

Findings: Among 30 patients enrolled during a seven-month period, those who received strategy 3 had higher mean post-test knowledge scores compared to those who received strategy 1 or 2, but the difference was not statistically significant. The results suggest that TEAL-reinforced education is helpful for keeping appointments and may be associated with better knowledge retention regarding disease process and medications. In addition, fewer calls were made to the healthcare team in the strategy 3 group compared to the strategy 1 and 2 groups.

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