Traditional hard copy information materials are still present in our cancer clinics. While their actual impact on patient care often goes un-assessed, it is important to understand their role in today’s electronic age where information can easily be obtained from various sources. It has remained the practice in our melanoma clinic to provide an information booklet to all of our new patients. The purpose of this study was to evaluate how useful this booklet was, as well as determine the current resources our patients use to gather cancer information. All patients referred to the clinic in the previous 3 years were pooled from our prospective, IRB-approved, melanoma sentinel node database. Of these 205 patients, a valid email address was listed for 147. A ten-question survey was emailed to all of these patients, who were not told ahead of time that their experience with the booklet would be studied. Seventy-seven of the 147 (52 %) patients polled responded. Fifty-eight (75 %) remembered receiving the booklet at their initial consultation. Forty-four (76 %) of those patients rated it as extremely or very useful, and no patients reported the booklet as not useful at all. Eighty-eight percent of respondents found the information to be clear and helpful. Sixty-four percent remembered the provider reviewing the material with them, and nearly all of these patients found that helpful. When asked to rank the importance of the various resources for obtaining cancer information, providers were ranked as most important, followed by the information booklet and Internet information sites. Internet blogs and friends and family were rated as the least important sources of information. Even in the current electronic age, our results indicate that information shared by providers, including the hard copy education booklet, was the most important source of information for our newly referred melanoma patients.
- Cancer education
- Hard copy education materials
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health