Embedding online learning within higher education can provide engaging, cost-effective, interactive and flexible education. By evaluating the impact, outcomes and pedagogical influence of online cancer and education, future curricula can be shaped and delivered by higher education providers to better meet learner, health care provider and educational commissioners’ requirements for enhanced patient care and service delivery needs. Using the Kirkpatrick’s four-level model of educational evaluation, a systematic review of the effectiveness of online cancer education for nurses and allied health professionals was conducted. From 101 articles, 30 papers were included in the review. Educational theory is not always employed. There is an absence of longitudinal studies to examine impact; an absence of reliability and/or validity testing of measures, limited experimental designs taking account of power and few attempts to mitigate bias. There is, however, an emerging innovative use of mobile/spaced learning techniques. Evidence for clinical and educational effectiveness is weak offering insights into experiences and participant perceptions rather than concrete quantitative data and patient-reported outcomes. More pedagogical research is merited to inform effective evaluation of online cancer education, which incorporates and demonstrates a longer-term impact.
Patient navigation is increasingly being directed at adolescent and young adult (AYA) patients. This study provides a novel description of differences in AYA cancer patients’ preferences for navigation services by developmental age at diagnosis.Eligible patients were diagnosed with cancer between ages 15 and 39 and had completed at least 1 month of treatment. Between October 2015 and January 2016, patients completed semi-structured interviews about navigation preferences. Summary statistics of demographic and cancer characteristics were generated. Differences in patient navigation preferences were examined through qualitative analyses by developmental age at diagnosis.AYAs were interviewed (adolescents 15–18 years N = 8; emerging adults 19–25 years N = 8; young adults 26–39 years N = 23). On average, participants were 4.5 years from diagnosis. All age groups were interested in face-to-face connection with a navigator and using multiple communication platforms (phone, text, email) to follow-up. Three of the most frequently cited needs were insurance, finances, and information. AYAs differed in support, healthcare, and resource preferences by developmental age; only adolescents preferred educational support. While all groups preferred financial and family support, the specific type of assistance (medical versus living expenses, partner/spouse, child, or parental assistance) varied by age group.AYAs with cancer have different preferences for patient navigation by developmental age at diagnosis. AYAs are not a one-size-fits-all population, and navigation programs can better assist AYAs when services are targeted to appropriate developmental ages. Future research should examine fertility and navigation preferences by time since diagnosis. While some navigation needs to span the AYA age range, other needs are specific to developmental age.
The objective of this study was to assess the differences in HPV-related knowledge, attitudes, and beliefs among African American and non-Hispanic white women and to determine their communication preferences for cancer-related information. Data was obtained from the National Cancer Institute's (NCI) 2014 Health Interview National Trends Survey (HINTS), a cross-sectional survey of US adults 18years of age or older. Descriptive statistics, bivariate, and multivariate logistic regression were used to identify differences in awareness and knowledge. Data was collected in 2014 and analyzed in 2016. HPV awareness (71 vs. 77%) and knowledge that HPV causes cervical cancer (64 vs. 81%) were significantly lower among blacks. Additionally, there were significant disparities in awareness of the HPV vaccine (66 vs. 79%), with only 25% of Black women indicating that they or a family member was recommended the HPV vaccine by a health care professional. There were also differences in cancer communication preferences. Blacks were more likely than Whites to trust cancer information from family (OR 2.7, confidence interval [CI] 0.725-10.048), television (OR 3.0, 95% [CI] 0.733-12.296), government health agencies (OR 5.8, [CI] 0.639-52.818), and religious organizations (OR 6.4, 95% [CI] 1.718-23.932). Study results indicate that racial/ethnic differences exist in HPV knowledge/awareness and cancer communication preferences. These results highlight the need to increase HPV prevention and education efforts using methods that are tailored to Black women. To address HPV/cervical cancer disparities, future interventions should utilize preferred communication outlets to effectively increase HPV knowledge and vaccine awareness.
The way that bad news is disclosed to a cancer patient has a crucial impact on physician-patient cooperation and trust. Consensus-based guidelines provide widely accepted tools for disclosing unfavorable information. In oncology, the most popular one is called the SPIKES protocol. A 17-question survey was administered to a group of 226 patients with cancer (mean age 59.6 years) in order to determine a level of SPIKES implementation during first cancer disclosure. In our assessment, the patients felt that the highest compliance with the SPIKES protocol was with Setting up (70.6%), Knowledge (72.8%), and Emotions (75.3%). The lowest was with the Perception (27.7%), Invitation (30.4%), and Strategy & Summary (56.9%) parts. There could be improvement with each aspect of the protocol, but especially in Perception, Invitation, and Strategy & Summary. The latter is really important and must be done better. Older patients felt the doctors’ language was more comprehensible (r = 0.17; p = 0.011). Patients’ satisfaction of their knowledge about the disease and follow-up, regarded as an endpoint, was insufficient. Privacy was important in improving results (p < 0.01). In practice, the SPIKES protocol is implemented in a satisfactory standard, but it can be improved in each area, especially in Perception, Invitation, and Summary. It is suggested that more training should be done in undergraduate and graduate medical education and the effectiveness of the disclosure continue to be evaluated and improved.
Every cancer survivor and his/her primary care provider should receive an individualized survivorship care plan (SCP) following curative treatment. Little is known regarding point-of-care utilization at primary care visits. We assessed SCP utilization in the clinical context of primary care visits. Primary care physicians and advanced practice providers (APPs) who had seen survivors following provision of an SCP were identified. Eligible primary care physicians and APPs were sent an online survey, evaluating SCP utilization and influence on decision-making at the point-of-care, accompanied by copies of the survivor’s SCP and the clinic note. Eighty-eight primary care physicians and APPs were surveyed November 2016, with 40 (45%) responding. Most respondents (60%) reported discussing cancer or related issues during the visit. Information needed included treatment (66%) and follow-up visits, and the cancer team was responsible for (58%) vs primary care (58%). Respondents acquired this information by asking the patient (79%), checking oncology notes (75%), the SCP (17%), or online resources (8%). Barriers to SCP use included being unaware of the SCP (73%), difficulty locating it (30%), and finding needed information faster via another mechanism (15%). Despite largely not using the SCP for the visit (90%), most respondents (61%) believed one would be quite or very helpful for future visits. Most primary care visits included discussion of cancer or cancer-related issues. SCPs may provide the information necessary to deliver optimal survivor care but efforts are needed to reduce barriers and design SCPs for primary care use.
Since its foundation in 1986, the Journal of Cancer Education (JCE) has served as an important outlet for myriad aspects of cancer education and currently serves as the official journal of the American and European Associations for Cancer Education. During its history, the JCE has been under the auspices of five publishers, with its first full year under the current publisher, Springer, in 2010. Print and distribution metrics from 2010 to present were obtained from Springer. These were compared to historical data including the first 10 years of the JCE, published by Dr. Bakemeier in 1995. Since its beginning, the JCE has consisted of four issues per year. The original contract for 256 pages per year has increased to an average of 858 pages from 2010 to 2014. In 2015, the JCE received a total of 344 submissions, up from 339 in 2014, and 262 the year before. This is a stark contrast to the roughly 44 submission received in 1994. Over this same period, the overall rejection rate has increased from 30% in 2010 to 45% in 2015. The number of online deals has increased from 347 in 2014 to 361 in 2015 and has been accompanied by a steady increase in the number of full-text article downloads: 19,000 in 2010 to 58,923 in 2015. Accordingly, the JCE has seen a pronounced and steady increase in impact factor, rising from 0.52 in 2009 to 1.368 in 2015. Since moving to Springer, the JCE has seen unprecedented growth, receiving increasing submissions yearly, an increasing number of subscription deals and online full-text downloads, and a corresponding increase in impact factor.
Delivering a cohesive oncology curriculum to medical students is challenging due to oncology's multidisciplinary nature, predominantly outpatient clinical setting, and lack of data describing effective approaches to teaching it. We sought to better characterize approaches to oncology education at US medical schools by surveying third and fourth year medical students who serve on their institution's curriculum committee. We received responses from students at 19 schools (15.2% response rate). Key findings included the following: (1) an under-emphasis of cancer in the curriculum relative to other common diseases; (2) imbalanced involvement of different clinical subspecialists as educators; (3) infrequent requirements for students to rotate through non-surgical oncologic clerkships; and (4) students are less confident in their knowledge of cancer treatment compared to basic science/natural history or workup/diagnosis. Based on these findings, we provide several recommendations to achieve robust multidisciplinary curriculum design and implementation that better balances the clinical and classroom aspects of oncology education.
Pain is a major symptom that causes suffering among patients diagnosed with cancer. Identifying physicians’ and nurses’ knowledge, attitudes, and their perceived barriers of cancer pain management is considered an essential step in improving cancer pain relief. The purposes of this study are to compare physicians’ and nurses’ knowledge and attitudes toward cancer pain management (CPM) and describe their perceived barriers to CPM at oncology units. A descriptive cross-sectional design was utilized to obtain data through self-report questionnaire. The total number of sample size was 207 participants (72 physicians and 135 nurses). Findings revealed that both physicians and nurses had fair knowledge and attitudes toward CPM. Physicians had significantly higher knowledge and better attitudes than nurses (62.3 vs. 51.5%, respectively). Physicians were knowledgeable about pharmacological pain management and opioid addiction but had negative attitudes toward pain assessment. Nurses’ knowledge was better in regard of CPM guidelines, while they had poor knowledge about pharmacological pain management and opioid addiction. Physicians and nurses perceived knowledge deficit, lack of pain assessment, opioid unavailability, and lack of psychological interventions as the most common barriers to CPM. It is recommended to integrate recent evidence-based guidelines about CPM in oncology units that aim to improve practice. Offering continuing education courses in hospitals guided by pain teams is another essential recommendation for effective CPM.
The Internet is increasingly a source of information for pancreatic cancer patients. This disease is usually diagnosed at an advanced stage; therefore, timely access to high-quality information is critical. Our purpose is to systematically evaluate the information available to pancreatic cancer patients on the internet. An internet search using the term “pancreatic cancer” was performed, with the meta-search engines “Dogpile”, “Yippy” and “Google”. The top 100 websites returned by the search engines were evaluated using a validated structured rating tool. Inter-rater reliability was evaluated using kappa statistics and results were analyzed using descriptive statistics. Amongst the 100 websites evaluated, etiology/risk factors and symptoms were the most accurately covered (70 and 67% of websites). Prevention, treatment and prognosis were the least accurate sections (55, 55 and 43% of websites). Prevention and prognosis were also the least likely to be covered with 63 and 51 websites covering these, respectively. Only 40% of websites identified an author. Twenty-two percent of websites were at a university reading level. The majority of online information is accurate but incomplete. Websites may lack information on prognosis. Many websites are outdated and lacked author information, and readability levels are inappropriate. This knowledge can inform the dialogue between healthcare providers and patients.
Human papilloma virus (HPV) vaccination rates lag behind other vaccines, primarily because of weak provider recommendations, and are associated with nearly 30,000 new cancer diagnoses a year. Educating medical students about HPV using active, team-centered learning may increase assimilation of information and may increase vaccination rates. A team-based learning (TBL) module focused on HPV for first-year medical students about HPV will better increase knowledge and likeliness to vaccinate than traditional education methods. Baseline HPV knowledge in medical students across Texas was assessed by surveying all 4-year undergraduate medical schools. Students at one medical school then participated in a week-long TBL focused on basic and clinical concepts relating to HPV, and then were re-surveyed upon completion of the course module. At baseline assessment, first-year student at the intervention site performed at the same level as first-year medical students across the state of Texas on knowledge and satisfaction with their HPV-related medical school education. After the TBL implementation, students performed significantly better than similar-year students and equal to graduating seniors, on knowledge of HPV- and HPV-related cancers, and report significantly higher satisfaction with education measures. Students at the intervention site were significantly more likely to recommend the HPV vaccination in future practice. Short-term knowledge and willingness to recommend vaccination are improved with a targeted HPV TBL early in medical education, which may provide a basis of knowledge that could translate into improved vaccination rates.
Breast cancer (BC) is a worldwide fatal cancer among females. Efforts fighting against this disease should start with females at younger ages. This study evaluated the effectiveness a BC educational program in promoting female university students’ knowledge and attitudes towards BC and practices of breast self-examination (BSE). A pre- and post-test design was used in two phases; pre- and post-intervention phase. A 1-day educational program was conducted with theoretical and practical educational sessions. Participants were evaluated twice (before and 2 weeks after the intervention) for the following variables: knowledge regarding BC warning signs, BC risk factors and knowledge in regard to BSE, in addition to their attitudes and practices of BSE. A total of 110 participants were randomized into either intervention (n = 64, 58.2%) or control group (n = 46, 41.8%). Analysis revealed that participants in both groups had relatively low level of knowledge, negative attitudes, and poor practice towards BC and BSE before attending the intervention. Analysis of the post test revealed that participants in the interventional group had significant improvement in knowledge, positive attitudes, and more practice of BSE compared to participants in the control group. The implementation of a BC awareness program had positive effects on the female university students’ knowledge, attitudes, and practices regarding BC and BSE. Findings from this study strengthen and reinforce the importance of conducting such awareness programs for this young age group.
A growing number of patients search for health information online. An early investigation of websites about bladder cancer (BCa) revealed mostly incomplete and particularly inaccurate information. We analyzed the quality, readability, and popularity of the most frequented websites on BCa. An Internet search on www.google.com was performed for the term “bladder cancer.” After selecting the most frequented websites for patient information, HONcode quality certification, Alexa popularity rank, and readability scores (according to US grade levels) were investigated. A 36-point checklist was used to assess the content according to the EAU guidelines on BCa, which was categorized into seven topics. The popularity of the 49 websites analyzed was average, with a median Alexa popularity rank of 41,698 (interquartile range [IQR] 7–4,671,246). The readability was rated difficult with 11 years of school education needed to understand the information. Thirteen (27%) websites were HONcode certified. Out of 343 topics (seven EAU guideline topics each on 49 websites), 79% were mentioned on the websites. Of these, 10% contained incorrect information, mostly outdated or biased, and 34% contained incomplete information. Publically provided websites mentioned more topics per website (median [IQR] 7 [5.5–7] vs. 5.5 [3.3–7]; p = 0.022) and showed less incorrect information (median [IQR] 0 [0–1] vs. 1 [0–1]; p = 0.039) than physician-provided websites. Our study revealed mostly correct but partially incomplete information on BCa websites for patients. Physicians and public organizations should strive to keep their website information up-to-date and unbiased to optimize patients’ health literacy.
Familiarity with principles of palliative care, supportive care, and palliative oncological treatment is essential for providers caring for cancer patients, though this may be challenging in global communities where resources are limited. Herein, we describe the scope of literature on palliative oncological care curricula for providers in resource-limited settings. A systematic literature review was conducted using PubMed, Embase, Cochrane Library, Web of Science, Cumulative Index to Nursing and Allied Health Literature, Med Ed Portal databases, and gray literature. All available prospective cohort studies, case reports, and narratives published up to July 2017 were eligible for review. Fourteen articles were identified and referenced palliative care education programs in Argentina, Uganda, Kenya, Australia, Germany, the USA, or multiple countries. The most common teaching strategy was lecture-based, followed by mentorship and experiential learning involving role play and simulation. Education topics included core principles of palliative care, pain and symptom management, and communication skills. Two programs included additional topics specific to the underserved or American Indian/Alaskan Native community. Only one program discussed supportive cancer care, and no program reported educational content on resource-stratified decision-making for palliative oncological treatment. Five programs reported positive participant satisfaction, and three programs described objective metrics of increased educational or research activity. There is scant literature on effective curricula for providers treating cancer patients in resource-limited settings. Emphasizing supportive cancer care and palliative oncologic treatments may help address gaps in education; increased outcome reporting may help define the impact of palliative care curriculum within resource-limited communities.
Skin cancer is one of the most common cancers in Iran. Farmers are exposed to the sun’s ultraviolet radiation due to their job and are susceptible to skin cancer. The aim of this study is to survey the effect of educational intervention based on health belief model and social support on promoting skin cancer preventive behaviors in farmers of Fasa City, Fars province, Iran. In this quasi-experimental study, 200 farmers (100 in experimental group and 100 in control group) in Fasa City, Fars, Iran, were selected in 2017. The educational intervention for the experimental group consisted of eight training sessions (introduction to skin cancer, risk factors, complications, benefits and barriers to proper use of sunscreen, UV sunglasses and physical protection, self-efficacy in applying preventive behaviors, role of social support). A questionnaire consisting of demographic information, knowledge, HBM constructs (perceived susceptibility, severity, benefits, barriers, self-efficacy and cues to action), and social support was used to measure skin cancer preventive behaviors before, 3 months after the intervention, and 6 months later. Data were analyzed using SPSS-22 via chi-squared, independent samples t test, Mann-Whitney, and repeated measures ANOVA at a significance level of 0.5. The mean age of the farmers was 42.21 ± 10.52 years in the experimental group and 44.28 ± 10.16 years in the control group. Three months after the intervention and 6 months after the intervention, the experimental group showed a significant increase in the knowledge, perceived susceptibility, perceived severity, perceived benefits, self-efficacy, cues to action, social support, and skin cancer preventive behaviors compared to the control group. This study showed the effectiveness of the intervention based on the HBM constructs and social support in adoption of skin cancer preventive behaviors in 3 and 6 months post intervention in farmers. Hence, these models can act as a framework for designing and implementing educational interventions for the prevention of skin cancer.
Cancer has become the leading cause of death in North Carolina (NC) (North Carolina DHHS, State Center for Health Statistics 2015) and the eastern region of North Carolina (ENC) has experienced greater cancer mortality than the remainder of the state. The Pitt County Breast Wellness Initiative-Education (PCBWI-E) provides culturally tailored breast cancer education and navigation to screening services for uninsured/underinsured women in Pitt and Edgecombe Counties in ENC. PCBWI-E created a network of 23 lay breast health educators, and has educated 735 women on breast health and breast cancer screening guidelines. Navigation services have been provided to 365 women, of which 299 were given breast health assessments, 193 were recommended for a mammogram, and 138 were screened. We have identified five lessons learned to share in the successful implementation of a community-based breast cancer screening intervention: (1) community partnerships are critical for successful community-based cancer screening interventions; (2) assuring access to free or low-cost screening and appropriate follow-up should precede interventions to promote increased use of breast cancer screening; (3) the reduction of system-based barriers is effective in increasing cancer screening; (4) culturally tailored interventions can overcome barriers to screening for diverse racial/ethnic and socioeconomic groups; and (5) multi-component interventions that include multiple community health strategies are effective in increasing screening.
Nurses have major responsibilities to treat cancer pain in an optimal way. Their knowledge and attitudes are the key to success cancer pain management (CPM) process and impact the outcomes of pain treatment. This study aimed to evaluate the knowledge and attitudes toward CPM among Jordanian nurses working at oncology units. A cross-sectional descriptive design was used to collect data from 135 nurses who were working at four oncology units using Knowledge and Attitudes Survey Regarding Pain. The percentage of correct answers was 51.5% indicating that participants had fair knowledge and attitudes toward CPM. Nurses appeared knowledgeable about CPM guidelines but were unfamiliar regarding pharmacological management and had negative attitudes toward opioids addiction and pain assessment. Significantly, knowledge and attitudes were higher among nurses who had previous education programs (P<.001) and worked in a pain team (P<.001). Therefore, including CPM topics in nursing curricula and postgraduate educational programs is needed. Additionally, initiating pain management teams and using CPM guidelines will contribute to effective treatment of cancer pain.
Screening coverage is of concern in several countries, including Italy. The aim of the study is to assess predictors of participation in the mammography screening program at the Local Health Unit RMA (Rome, Italy). A telephone-based questionnaire was administered to randomly selected eligible women. The study population was interviewed by the personnel of the health center. Five hundred two women were interviewed, of which 264(52.6%) have attended the breast cancer screening program at least once. The attendees received the invitation letter more often than the non-attendees (88.3% vs. 77.7%; p = 0.002) and were more willing to participate (85.6% vs. 69.3%; p < 0.001). Employees were more among the non-attendees of the screening program (66% vs. 52.3%; p = 0.002). Age over-61 (OR = 2.75; 95%CI 1.84-4.09), receiving the invitation letter (OR = 2.54; 95%CI = 1.52-4.24), and intention to participate (OR = 3.09; 95%CI = 1.94-4.91) were significantly associated with participation in the screening program. Although the invitation rate of the Local Health Unit RMA has improved in recent years, the mammography uptake rate remains very low. The presence of opportunistic screening activities, younger age, and low educational status could explain the low participation rates. Organizational barriers (e.g., screening hours coinciding with work hours, screening facilities located far away) may also limit participation. Major efforts should be made towards the regulation of opportunistic screening activities and reorganization of the screening centers and communication strategies to better comply with the needs of the target population. In this light, the involvement of different healthcare professionals, especially general practitioners, and gynecologists, is crucial.
This study aims to describe the acceptability and feasibility of an educational and training experiential intervention (ETEI) we developed to enhance muscle invasive bladder cancer (MIBC) patients with treatment decision-making and post-operative self-care. Twenty-five patients were randomized to a control group (N = 8) or ETEI group (N = 17). ETEI group participated in a nurse-led session on MIBC education. The control group received diet and nutrition education. Study questionnaires were completed at baseline and at 1-month post-intervention. Our results showed acceptable recruitment (58%) and retention rates (68%). The ETEI group reported increased knowledge (82% vs. 50%), improved decisional support (64% vs. 50%), improved communication (73% vs. 50%), and increased confidence in treatment decisions (73% vs. 50%) compared to the control group. Patients in the control group reported improved diet (50% v. 27%) as well as maintaining a healthy lifestyle (67% vs. 45%) compared to the ETEI group. Patients in the ETEI group reported a significant decrease in cancer worries and increases in self-efficacy beliefs over time compared to the control group. The ETEI was feasible, acceptable, and showed a potential for inducing desired changes in cancer worries and efficacy beliefs.
This study describes a medical school oncology interest group (OIG) and assesses its influence on student perceptions of oncology, interest in pursuing oncology as a career, and comfort levels with oncology topics such as breaking bad news. From 2015 to 2017, the OIG annual event took place at a satellite campus of a larger Canadian undergraduate medical school. The event provided a question and answer period with a panel of physicians from multiple oncology specialties-discussions focused around lifestyle, training, clinical work, lifestyle, and career focus. Small physician-led groups taught breaking bad news using the SPIKES framework. The interest group also provided a mentoring and networking opportunity to interested students. Pre- and post-event surveys were distributed to students and physicians. For three consecutive years, the student-run, and physician-mentored OIG successfully recruited student and physician participants, providing a clinical skill teaching session as well as mentorship opportunities to students. Pre-event surveys found that only 20% of students believed their current curriculum was adequate as it relates to oncology education. In pre-session, 13% (6/45) of students indicated comfort with the skill of breaking bad news, compared with that in post-session with 81% (34/42) of students feeling comfortable. When asked "How likely are you to pursue a future elective opportunity in oncology?" 49% (20/41) of students indicated "likely" as their response in the pre-session. This response increased post-session to 70% (28/40). The event highlighted the potential for OIGs to increase student interest in pursuing oncology electives and student-perceived comfort with breaking bad news. OIGs are important in promoting interest in the field of oncology and in improving confidence in breaking bad news. This medical student-created, run and maintained oncology interest group supplemented standard curriculum by providing relevant educational and mentorship opportunities to students. This study highlights the feasibility of implementing a self-sustaining medical school oncology interest group and its potential to positively impact student learning and interest in oncology.
One of the main challenges of delivering high quality of care to cancer patients in developing countries is the lack of well-trained radiation oncologists. This is a direct cause for the lack of residency programs coupled with lack of resources. This article describes and details establishments of a successful and sustainable radiation-oncology residency program in our country. The program has been in operation for 14 years and has trained and graduated radiation oncologists who are now working in various countries. The curriculum of the 4-year residency program, fashioned according to American College of Radiologists (ACR) recommendations, includes site-specific clinical rotations and didactic lectures in clinical oncology, radiobiology, medical physics, statistics, and epidemiology. It also includes a component of advanced clinical experience in the form of 3-month externship at one of collaborating centers outside the country. Evaluation of the residents is conducted annually via written exams and 360° feedback. Residents also sit for the formal certification exam in radiation oncology from the national Medical Council. The exam consists of 2 written exams and one oral. As a form of benchmarking residents' knowledge, they are required to sit for the ACR examinations held annually and conducted in Amman in tandem. The program has successfully trained and graduated 28 residents, who now work as consultant radiation oncologists locally and abroad. Each resident has gone through a structured training that includes exposure to a Western-style patient-management culture, enhancing the breadth and width of their clinical experience. The residency program, initiated in a developing country, underwent many challenges, yet it overcome all obstacles and resulted in a successful training of competent radiation oncologists serving the region.