Increasing compliance with colorectal cancer screening: the development of effective health education.
The ability of a health education leaflet to raise awareness of the frequency of colorectal cancer and its asymptomatic nature and to increase intention to participate in screening with faecal occult blood testing (FOBT) was investigated. One hundred subjects were interviewed before and after reading the leaflet. The number of men stating bowel cancer was 'very common' increased significantly from 20 to 60% (chi 2 = 16.7, P < 0.0001) and those understanding its asymptomatic nature form 64 to 92% (chi 2 = 11.4, P < 0.001). The leaflet significantly increased the percentage of women reporting bowel cancer as 'very common' from 30 to 70% (chi 2 = 16.0, P < 0.0001) and as being asymptomatic from 58 to 94% (chi 2 = 17.8, P < 0.0001). After reading the leaflet, 55% of men who initially declined screening reversed their decision (chi 2 16.5, P < 0.0001) and 50% of female non-adherers reversed their decision (chi 2 = 17.3, P < 0.0001). Reasons most frequently given for declining colorectal cancer screening were feeling well (77% of subjects declining), concern about further tests (38%), unpleasantness of FOBT (13%) and illness (6%). This leaflet successfully educates people about colorectal cancer and increased intention to participate in screening programmes. (+info)
Inquiry into the potential value of an information pamphlet on consent to surgery to improve surgeon-patient communication.
OBJECTIVES: To find out how patients recently undergoing surgery experienced the consenting process and the response of these patients to a pamphlet on consent to surgery. To test the reaction of health professionals to the pamphlet. DESIGN: A pilot pamphlet was produced and a questionnaire was sent to patients inquiring about their consenting experience, and how the pamphlet might have helped them through the consent procedure. A pamphlet and a questionnaire were also sent to a random sample of the health professionals serving these patients. SUBJECTS: Patients and health professionals. RESULTS: 61% of patients returned the questionnaire. Knowledge about the consent procedure was shown to be limited. 49% were unaware that they had the right to insist that the surgeon could only perform the specified operation and nothing more. 83% were unaware that they could add something in writing to the consent form before signing. 28% of health professionals returned their questionnaire, most of whom thought that the pamphlet provided a useful contribution to surgeon-patient communication. CONCLUSION: Evidence shows that patients are not well informed about consenting to surgery and further information would provide much needed guidance on understanding their role in the consent procedure. The low response from the health professional study is perhaps an indication that at present this is an issue which is not seen as a priority. (+info)
Prevention of relapse in women who quit smoking during pregnancy.
OBJECTIVES: This study is an evaluation of relapse prevention interventions for smokers who quit during pregnancy. METHODS: Pregnant smokers at 2 managed care organizations were randomized to receive a self-help booklet only, prepartum relapse prevention, or prepartum and postpartum relapse prevention. Follow-up surveys were conducted at 28 weeks of pregnancy and at 8 weeks, 6 months, and 12 months postpartum. RESULTS: The pre/post intervention delayed but did not prevent postpartum relapse to smoking. Prevalent abstinence was significantly greater for the pre/post intervention group than for the other groups at 8 weeks (booklet group, 30%; prepartum group, 35%; pre/post group, 39%; P = .02 [different superscripts denote differences at P < .05]) and at 6 months (booklet group, 26%, prepartum group, 24%; pre/post group, 33%; P = .04) postpartum. A nonsignificant reduction in relapse among the pre/post group contributed to differences in prevalent abstinence. There was no difference between the groups in prevalent abstinence at 12 months postpartum. CONCLUSIONS: Relapse prevention interventions may need to be increased in duration and potency to prevent post-partum relapse. (+info)
Can the written information to research subjects be improved?--an empirical study.
OBJECTIVES: To study whether linguistic analysis and changes in information leaflets can improve readability and understanding. DESIGN: Randomised, controlled study. Two information leaflets concerned with trials of drugs for conditions/diseases which are commonly known were modified, and the original was tested against the revised version. SETTING: Denmark. PARTICIPANTS: 235 persons in the relevant age groups. MAIN MEASURES: Readability and understanding of contents. RESULTS: Both readability and understanding of contents was improved: readability with regard to both information leaflets and understanding with regard to one of the leaflets. CONCLUSION: The results show that both readability and understanding can be improved by increased attention to the linguistic features of the information. (+info)
Improvements in diabetic care as measured by HbA1c after a physician education project.
OBJECTIVE: To measure the quality of diabetic care as indicated by HbA1c testing frequency and HbA1c values and to demonstrate improvement in care after an appropriate quality improvement intervention. RESEARCH DESIGN AND METHODS: The quality improvement project used computerized claims and laboratory data relating to HbA1c testing among the private practices of nine physicians caring for diabetic Medicare patients. Nine indicators evaluated three main areas: HbA1c testing frequency, HbA1c values, and frequency of office visits. A quality improvement intervention consisting of a physician component and a patient component was implemented. RESULTS: There were 835 patients and 4,367 visits studied. After the intervention, statistically significant improvements in HbA1c testing frequency and values were noted. Rates of seized opportunities for testing HbA1c improved from 17.7 to 33.9% (P < 0.0001). The percentage of patients with a current HbA1c value improved from 31.3 to 47.6% (P < 0.0001). The median HbA1c values fell from 8.5 to 7.8% (P < 0.006). Patients achieving good or fair control (HbA1c < or = 8%) improved from 43.8 to 56.9% (P = 0.007). The median time between physician visits fell from 70 days to 60 days (P < 0.0001). CONCLUSIONS: The study revealed that HbA1c testing was underused but that after a quality improvement initiative, a significant increase in testing use could be achieved. The quality improvement initiative also resulted in significant improvements in glycemic control. The techniques and interventions used in this study could be used to intervene in larger populations and practice settings to improve medical care for diabetic patients. (+info)
Text and graphics: manipulating nutrition brochures to maximize recall.
This study examined how altering text and graphics of a nutrition brochure could affect the ability to remember the content of the message. Two theoretical models were used to guide alterations: dual-coding theory and the communications model. Three brochure formats were tested: the original brochure containing abstract text and abstract graphics, a modified brochure with relatively concrete text and abstract graphics, and a relatively concrete text brochure with concrete graphics. Participants (N = 239 women) were divided into four age groups: 20-30, 40-50, 60-70 and over 70 years. Women were randomly assigned into each of the three experimental brochure formats or a control group. Participants completed recalled materials from the assigned brochures (the no treatment control group did not include a brochure) at two different sessions, 30 days apart. Data were content analyzed and results were compared using analysis of covariance to test differences by age and brochure types. Younger women (20-30 and 40-50 years) recalled more information than women over 60 years. More concrete nutrition education print materials enhanced recall of information presented immediately after reading the material; however, this effect was transient and lasted less than 30 days after a one-time reading. The implications of these data for communicating nutrition messages with print materials are discussed. (+info)
Postal consent for upper gastrointestinal endoscopy.
BACKGROUND: Standards for good practice in clinical risk management issued by the Clinical Negligence Scheme for Trusts indicate that "appropriate information is provided to patients on the risks and benefits of proposed treatment, and of the alternatives available before a signature on a consent form is sought". AIMS: To investigate the practicability and patient acceptability of a postal information and consent booklet for patients undergoing outpatient gastroscopy. METHODS: Information about gastroscopy procedure, personalised appointment details, and a carbonised consent form were compiled into a single booklet. This was mailed to patients well in advance of their endoscopic procedure. Patient satisfaction for this new process was assessed by questionnaire. RESULTS: 275 patients received a patient information booklet. Of these, 150 (54.5%) returned the consent form by post when they confirmed their attendance; 141 (94%) had signed the form, and the other nine requested further information. Of the remaining 125 booklets sent out, 115 (92%) forms were brought back on the day of the investigation having been previously signed. The remaining 10 (8%) required further information before signing the form. An audit of 168 patients was used to test reaction to the booklet and the idea of filling in the form before coming to hospital; 155 patients (92. 2%) reported the information given in the booklet to be "very useful", and all reported it to be "clear and understandable". CONCLUSION: A specifically designed patient information booklet with integral consent form is accepted by patients, and improves the level of understanding prior to the investigation being carried out. (+info)
Randomised controlled trial comparing effectiveness of touch screen system with leaflet for providing women with information on prenatal tests.
OBJECTIVE: To compare the effectiveness of touch screen system with information leaflet for providing women with information on prenatal tests. DESIGN: Randomised controlled trial; participants allocated to intervention group (given access to touch screen and leaflet information) or control group (leaflet information only). SETTING: Antenatal clinic in university teaching hospital. SUBJECTS: 875 women booking antenatal care. INTERVENTIONS: All participants received a leaflet providing information on prenatal tests. Women in the intervention arm also had access to touch screen information system in antenatal clinic. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: Women's informed decision making on prenatal testing as measured by their uptake of and understanding of the purpose of specific tests; their satisfaction with information provided; and their levels of anxiety. RESULTS: All women in the trial had a good baseline knowledge of prenatal tests. Women in the intervention group did not show any greater understanding of the purpose of the tests than control women. However, uptake of detailed anomaly scans was significantly higher in intervention group than the control group (94% (351/375) v 87% (310/358), P=0.0014). Levels of anxiety among nulliparous women in intervention group declined significantly over time (P<0.001). CONCLUSIONS: The touch screen seemed to convey no benefit over well prepared leaflets in improving understanding of prenatal tests among the pregnant women. It did, however, seem to reduce levels of anxiety and may be most effective for providing information to selected women who have a relevant adverse history or abnormal results from tests in their current pregnancy. (+info)