Use of an Online Education Platform to Enhance Patients' Knowledge About Radiation in Diagnostic Imaging.
J Am Coll Radiol. 2017 Mar;14(3):386-392. doi: 10.1016/j.jacr.2016.11.018. Epub 2017 Jan 20.
Steele JR1, Jones AK2, Clarke RK3, Shiao SJ4, Wei W5, Shoemaker S6, Parmar S7.
PURPOSE: The aim of this study was to compare the impact of a digital interactive education platform and standard paper-based education on patients' knowledge regarding ionizing radiation.
METHODS: Beginning in January 2015, patients at a tertiary cancer center scheduled for diagnostic imaging procedures were randomized to receive information about ionizing radiation delivered through a web-based interactive education platform (interactive education group), the same information in document format (document education group), or no specialized education (control group). Patients who completed at least some education and control group patients were invited to complete a knowledge assessment; interactive education patients were invited to provide feedback about satisfaction with their experience.
RESULTS: A total of 2,226 patients participated. Surveys were completed by 302 of 745 patients (40.5%) participating in interactive education, 488 of 993 (49.1%) participating in document education, and 363 of 488 (74.4%) in the control group. Patients in the interactive education group were significantly more likely to say that they knew the definition of ionizing radiation, outperformed the other groups in identifying which imaging examinations used ionizing radiation, were significantly more likely to identify from a list which imaging modality had the highest radiation dose, and tended to perform better when asked about the tissue effects of radiation in diagnostic imaging, although this difference was not significant. In the interactive education group, 84% of patients were satisfied with the experience, and 79% said that they would recommend the program.
CONCLUSIONS: Complex information on a highly technical subject with personal implications for patients may be conveyed more effectively using electronic platforms, and this approach is well accepted.