Educational DVD about chemotherapy assuages patient fears about treatment

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NEW ORLEANS—Use of a DVD to educate patients about chemotherapy helped to increase patient awareness and assuage fears about what would occur during treatment, according to research presented at the Oncology Nursing Society 37th Annual Congress.

Patient education is paramount in the newly diagnosed cancer patient and can increase patient satisfaction and quality of life. Those who receive education prior to treatment have reported less anxiety, feel in control, and can set realistic expectations regarding their diagnosis and treatment. However, the ability to implement effective patient education is often limited by the availability of personnel, patient schedules, available materials, and time.

At Cleveland Clinic Health System, Cleveland, OH, an Oncology Nursing Leadership group representing 11 different infusion areas realized the need for patient education prior to chemotherapy. Led by Josette Snyder, RN, MSN, OCN, and Barbara Thoman, BSN, RN, OCN under a grant, the group assessed information presented at various practice locations and from the ONS Chemotherapy and Biotherapy Course.

Using this information, they developed a 14-minute Basic Chemotherapy Education video. Patients and staff at different practice locations were interviewed and participated in the making of the DVD. Once complete, the DVD was distributed to practice sites to be used in conjunction with additional patient education including written materials, individualized teaching, and group teaching.

Both staff and patients felt the DVD was at a basic instructional level and easy to understand. It was adaptable at all the practice locations. Patients were able to take the DVD home to share with significant care partners.

“Patients feel valued, less stressed, and have the ability to make informed decisions regarding care management decisions. Having a standardized basic education

DVD also assists the nurse by laying the groundwork for continued education,” the study authors concluded.

The DVD is now available on the hospital Web site at and is accessible to all patients.

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