What is the effect of a low literacy talking book on patient knowledge, anxiety and communication before radiation therapy starts? A pilot study

Sian K. Smith-Lickess, Natalie Stefanic, Joanne Shaw, Heather Shepherd, Diana Naehrig, Robin M. Turner, Maria Cabrera-Aguas, Bettina Meiser, Georgia K.B. Halkett, Michael Jackson, George Saade, Joseph Bucci, Christopher Milross, Haryana M. Dhillon

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Citation (SciVal)

Abstract

Introduction: Radiation therapy is a common cancer treatment, requiring timely information to help patients prepare for treatment. We pilot tested a low literacy, psycho-educational talking book (written booklet, with accompanying audio recording) to examine (i) the effect of the tool on knowledge, anxiety and communication; (ii) acceptability, and (iii) how it was used in appointments. Methods: A pre-post design was employed. Patients scheduled to receive radiation therapy for any cancer were recruited from two hospitals in Sydney, Australia. Participants were sent the talking book before treatment planning and completed baseline and follow-up surveys, before and after the intervention. Results: Forty participants were recruited, and 39 completed all study assessments. Overall, knowledge increased after receiving the talking book by 3.8 points from 13.9 to 17.7/20 (95% confidence interval (CI) 2.7, 4.8, P < 0.001). Anxiety and concerns were significantly lower after receiving the talking book (P = 0.015 and P = 0.004, respectively). Nearly half of participants (s = 17, 48%) reported using the book during appointments. Most reported finding it easier to communicate (n = 31, 89%) and to ask more questions (n = 21, 62%). Conclusion: The talking book shows promise in improving knowledge, reducing anxiety and enhancing communication. Strategies to support the implementation of the talking book are required. Further studies to translate the book into different languages are also planned.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)463-472
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Medical Radiation Sciences
Volume69
Issue number4
Early online date15 Jul 2022
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 31 Dec 2022

Bibliographical note

No funding acknowledged

Keywords

  • Cancer
  • Communication
  • Health literacy
  • Knowledge
  • Radiation therapy
  • Talking book

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiological and Ultrasound Technology
  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging

Fingerprint

Dive into the research topics of 'What is the effect of a low literacy talking book on patient knowledge, anxiety and communication before radiation therapy starts? A pilot study'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this