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The Impact of Methods of Information on Chemotherapy-Related Side Effects

Janette Prouse
CJON 2010, 14(2), 206-211 DOI: 10.1188/10.CJON.206-211

A systematic review of the literature regarding the effectiveness of various methods of information given to patients with cancer receiving chemotherapy education revealed that psycho-educational interventions minimized the intensity and impact of treatment-related fatigue on daily life in the short term for patients undergoing chemotherapy. Studies that investigated efficacy of interactive multimedia devices revealed no statistical improvement in information recall, quantity of self-care activities, and fatigue levels between groups. Three of the multimedia studies focused on anxiety and depression trends before and during treatment, with mixed results. Several studies revealed no significant difference in either anxiety or depression. Others concluded that patients who viewed video information in conjunction with standard care were less anxious and depressed. Combined, these studies revealed that multimedia devices did not improve recall of information and that psycho-educational interventions were able to improve the impact of treatment-related side effects, namely fatigue, in the short term. This suggests that the educational needs of patients with cancer require a complex series of factors that impact the individual's ability to understand how and when to initiate recommended self-care strategies.

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