Are radiation oncologists aware of health literacy among people with cancer treated with radiotherapy?

L. M. Petrak, H. M. Dhillon, C. G. Milross, Sian K. Smith

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

15 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Health literacy skills are important for people affected by cancer as they are exposed to complex treatment and follow-up care information. This study aimed to (1) explore radiation oncologists' understandings and awareness of health literacy among patients with a reasonable command of English; (2) gain insight into oncologists' views regarding health literacy; and (3) identify techniques oncologists employ to communicate to different literacy populations. We conducted semi-structured interviews with 26 radiation oncologists. Four key themes were identified: (1) identifying a patient's literacy level; (2) perceived impact of literacy; (3) challenges and strategies to communicating concepts and supporting decision-making; and (4) suggested improvements to the health system. Participants described subjectively assessing a person's literacy level by monitoring the types of questions asked; analysing the language used; examining non-verbal behaviour, and considering a person's socio-economic situation. Participants reported the challenges of discussing the subtleties of cancer treatments with lower literacy groups such as the benefits and risks of treatment options and clinical trials, and tended to provide the basic facts to facilitate understanding. Radiation oncologists acknowledged the importance of health literacy in oncology, and employed a number of techniques to tailor their communication to different literacy populations. Further research is needed to address the challenges faced by oncologists when interacting with different literacy groups.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)111-120
Number of pages10
JournalEuropean Journal of Cancer Care
Volume23
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2014

Keywords

  • Doctor-patient relations
  • Health literacy
  • Patient comprehension
  • Qualitative research
  • Radiation oncology
  • Radiotherapy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology

Cite this

Are radiation oncologists aware of health literacy among people with cancer treated with radiotherapy? / Petrak, L. M.; Dhillon, H. M.; Milross, C. G.; Smith, Sian K. .

In: European Journal of Cancer Care, Vol. 23, No. 1, 01.01.2014, p. 111-120.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

@article{e93e5d0e66b04f53af44f4c33a9bd791,
title = "Are radiation oncologists aware of health literacy among people with cancer treated with radiotherapy?",
abstract = "Health literacy skills are important for people affected by cancer as they are exposed to complex treatment and follow-up care information. This study aimed to (1) explore radiation oncologists' understandings and awareness of health literacy among patients with a reasonable command of English; (2) gain insight into oncologists' views regarding health literacy; and (3) identify techniques oncologists employ to communicate to different literacy populations. We conducted semi-structured interviews with 26 radiation oncologists. Four key themes were identified: (1) identifying a patient's literacy level; (2) perceived impact of literacy; (3) challenges and strategies to communicating concepts and supporting decision-making; and (4) suggested improvements to the health system. Participants described subjectively assessing a person's literacy level by monitoring the types of questions asked; analysing the language used; examining non-verbal behaviour, and considering a person's socio-economic situation. Participants reported the challenges of discussing the subtleties of cancer treatments with lower literacy groups such as the benefits and risks of treatment options and clinical trials, and tended to provide the basic facts to facilitate understanding. Radiation oncologists acknowledged the importance of health literacy in oncology, and employed a number of techniques to tailor their communication to different literacy populations. Further research is needed to address the challenges faced by oncologists when interacting with different literacy groups.",
keywords = "Doctor-patient relations, Health literacy, Patient comprehension, Qualitative research, Radiation oncology, Radiotherapy",
author = "Petrak, {L. M.} and Dhillon, {H. M.} and Milross, {C. G.} and Smith, {Sian K.}",
year = "2014",
month = "1",
day = "1",
doi = "10.1111/ecc.12111",
language = "English",
volume = "23",
pages = "111--120",
journal = "European Journal of Cancer Care",
issn = "0961-5423",
publisher = "Wiley-Blackwell",
number = "1",

}

TY - JOUR

T1 - Are radiation oncologists aware of health literacy among people with cancer treated with radiotherapy?

AU - Petrak, L. M.

AU - Dhillon, H. M.

AU - Milross, C. G.

AU - Smith, Sian K.

PY - 2014/1/1

Y1 - 2014/1/1

N2 - Health literacy skills are important for people affected by cancer as they are exposed to complex treatment and follow-up care information. This study aimed to (1) explore radiation oncologists' understandings and awareness of health literacy among patients with a reasonable command of English; (2) gain insight into oncologists' views regarding health literacy; and (3) identify techniques oncologists employ to communicate to different literacy populations. We conducted semi-structured interviews with 26 radiation oncologists. Four key themes were identified: (1) identifying a patient's literacy level; (2) perceived impact of literacy; (3) challenges and strategies to communicating concepts and supporting decision-making; and (4) suggested improvements to the health system. Participants described subjectively assessing a person's literacy level by monitoring the types of questions asked; analysing the language used; examining non-verbal behaviour, and considering a person's socio-economic situation. Participants reported the challenges of discussing the subtleties of cancer treatments with lower literacy groups such as the benefits and risks of treatment options and clinical trials, and tended to provide the basic facts to facilitate understanding. Radiation oncologists acknowledged the importance of health literacy in oncology, and employed a number of techniques to tailor their communication to different literacy populations. Further research is needed to address the challenges faced by oncologists when interacting with different literacy groups.

AB - Health literacy skills are important for people affected by cancer as they are exposed to complex treatment and follow-up care information. This study aimed to (1) explore radiation oncologists' understandings and awareness of health literacy among patients with a reasonable command of English; (2) gain insight into oncologists' views regarding health literacy; and (3) identify techniques oncologists employ to communicate to different literacy populations. We conducted semi-structured interviews with 26 radiation oncologists. Four key themes were identified: (1) identifying a patient's literacy level; (2) perceived impact of literacy; (3) challenges and strategies to communicating concepts and supporting decision-making; and (4) suggested improvements to the health system. Participants described subjectively assessing a person's literacy level by monitoring the types of questions asked; analysing the language used; examining non-verbal behaviour, and considering a person's socio-economic situation. Participants reported the challenges of discussing the subtleties of cancer treatments with lower literacy groups such as the benefits and risks of treatment options and clinical trials, and tended to provide the basic facts to facilitate understanding. Radiation oncologists acknowledged the importance of health literacy in oncology, and employed a number of techniques to tailor their communication to different literacy populations. Further research is needed to address the challenges faced by oncologists when interacting with different literacy groups.

KW - Doctor-patient relations

KW - Health literacy

KW - Patient comprehension

KW - Qualitative research

KW - Radiation oncology

KW - Radiotherapy

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/record.url?scp=84890981681&partnerID=8YFLogxK

U2 - 10.1111/ecc.12111

DO - 10.1111/ecc.12111

M3 - Article

C2 - 23957463

AN - SCOPUS:84890981681

VL - 23

SP - 111

EP - 120

JO - European Journal of Cancer Care

JF - European Journal of Cancer Care

SN - 0961-5423

IS - 1

ER -