Needs for and Barriers to Patient Education: Can a Website Help Bridge the Gap? Open Access

Karnes, Bethany (Spring 2022)

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Oncology patient education is a sensitive and complex field, especially with the rise of internet use for health information. This study aims to understand how oncology physicians educate patients, the barriers physicians experience throughout this process, and what educational formats are preferred by physicians and patients. From December 2021 through March 2022, physicians, patients, and caregivers at Winship Cancer Institute participated in interviews regarding their experiences with oncology patient education. A review of was also conducted during these interviews, as the information obtained from this study is intended to improve this website as an educational resource. Respondents reported a variety of methods used by physicians to educate patients, and patients expressed a preference for resources to refer to outside of appointments. Barriers to education identified by physicians included health literacy, misinformation, lack of time, and emotional barriers. 79% of patients and caregivers used the internet to educate themselves about cancer, but feedback from physicians indicates that the resources that patients access are rarely reliable or helpful to the educational process. Although none of the patients or caregivers had seen the CancerQuest webpage before, 79% felt that it would have been helpful and 85% of physicians said that they would refer patients to this resource. This data indicates the potential benefits of increased use of this website as an educational tool. 

Table of Contents

Background: 1

Introduction: 1

Literature Review: 2

Materials and Methods: 8

Results: 14

Methods of Education: 17

Barriers to Education: 21

Patient/ Caregiver Internet Use: 21

CancerQuest Review: 23

Discussion: 24

References: 33

Appendix: 43

IRB Protocol: 43

Provider Recruitment Email: 53

Patient/ Caregiver Recruitment Flyer: 54

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