Objective: Effective patient -clinician communication at diagnosis is important, yet decreased provider time for face-to-face interactions makes traditional paradigms in cancer care difficult. We evaluated the effects of an educational video on patients' distress, cancer knowledge, coping skills and attitudes regarding learning about cancer at the time of ovarian cancer diagnosis. Methods: An educational video was developed in which oncology professionals, women with ovarian cancer, and their relatives discussed cancer information and experiences. Women admitted for initial diagnostic surgical staging for ovarian cancer were randomized to the educational or placebo video. Before and after the video, patients completed measures of (1) ovarian cancer information, (2) emotional distress, (3) learning attitudes, and (4) coping self-efficacy. Outcomes were analyzed for differences in mean change between intervention and placebo groups using t-tests. Results: Fifty-nine subjects were randomized (30 intervention/29 placebo). The majority were advanced staged, white, insured, high school educated, employed, and rated their disease seriousness as high. Anxiety, general distress and cancer-specific distress were high. Pre-post video: distress and self-efficacy between groups were unchanged, intervention subjects answered more knowledge items correctly (p = 0.0004) and developed more negative learning attitudes (p = 0.037). Following the educational video, patients who developed more negative attitudes also had increased intrusive thinking (p = 0.046), a sign of increased distress. Conclusions: Video presentation of cancer-related information increases learning under conditions of high distress and disease threat however, it is not without risk for some. Differing information needs may affect women's emotional response under these conditions.
- Ovarian cancer
- Quality of life