Objective: We compared the efficacy of a story-based writing style with that of a fact-based writing style for educational material on brain metastases. Methods: Identical informational content on four topics—radiation therapy, side effects, steroid tapering, and palliative care—was constructed into equivalent story-based and fact-based materials. The content and reader preference for style were evaluated using a questionnaire of 20 + 1 items. Cancer patients and caregivers were invited to evaluate the materials. Results: A total of 47 participants completed the questionnaire. The recorded preferences for facts, stories, or both were 42%, 7%, and 51% respectively (p = 0.0004). The fact-based materials were rated superior in providing factual information (for example, discussion of treatment, side effects) and selected general characteristics (clarity of information, for instance). A rating trend suggested that story-based materials were superior in describing “how it feels to have brain metastases” (21/40 fact-based vs. 26/43 story-based) and “how brain metastases affected a spouse” (17/41 fact-based vs. 21/47 story-based), and in being “sensitive to the frustrations of a patient with brain metastases” (25/40 fact-based vs. 30/44 story-based). Conclusions: Half the participants preferred to read both fact-based and story-based materials. A combined story-based and fact-based educational resource may be more effective in conveying sensitive information and should be further investigated.
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Chung, A.D.; Ng, D.; Wang, L.; Garraway, C.; Bezjak, A.; Nyhof–Young, J.; Wong, R.K.S.
Informational Stories: A Complementary Strategy for Patients and Caregivers with Brain Metastases. Curr. Oncol. 2009, 16, 33-39.
Chung AD, Ng D, Wang L, Garraway C, Bezjak A, Nyhof–Young J, Wong RKS.
Informational Stories: A Complementary Strategy for Patients and Caregivers with Brain Metastases. Current Oncology. 2009; 16(3):33-39.
Chung, A. D., D. Ng, L. Wang, C. Garraway, A. Bezjak, J. Nyhof–Young, and Rebecca K. S. Wong.
2009. "Informational Stories: A Complementary Strategy for Patients and Caregivers with Brain Metastases" Current Oncology 16, no. 3: 33-39.
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