Investigations in Patient Education Resources & the Generation of Generic Templates for Computerized Patient Education for Cancer Patients
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The aim of the report was to complete the MHI- internship requirement. This internship was accomplished in NICHE research group under supervision of Dr Raza Abidi. The major purpose of the internship was to apply health informatics concepts and theories. This was during the evaluation of two different patient educational materials and generation of templates, thus providing general guidance for health professionals in producing patient educational materials. Several phases were accomplished during the project. The first study aimed to evaluate online websites against certain criteria. These criteria were website reliability and website content readability. The author used different measures to assess readability such as SMOG F-K Grade and FRE. Other criteria such as sponsorship, audiences, currency and factual information were used to assess website reliability. In addition, the author used DISCREN tool for reliability and treatment choice appropriateness. This study concluded that reliability of these websites was not an issue within the study sample; rather readability was the main issue. Therefore, the author suggests some recommendations that could help to improve patient interaction with these websites during the research study. These recommendations were; ? Readability of patient educational materials should be below the sixth grade, matched with population literacy and easily understood. ? Recommendation of Patient tailored education materials. ? Physician or patient-educator should have a role in directing patient to reliable- evidence based resources to aid patient in taking informed decisions related to their health. ? Websites should use interactive tool or illustrations to increase patient understanding of the provided material. The second study was similar to Study I; however, it differed in resource format. This is because, in Study II, the format was patient information leaflets (PILs), which are widely used in hospitals and clinics. In Study II, the author used similar criteria to Study I to evaluate PILs. Study II reached the same finding as those of Study I. Thus, readability was the barrier towards production of valuable materials that would enable patients to make an informed decision. Thereafter, the author made comparisons between the two studies. This comparison was followed by generation of five templates whose contents were abstracted from the educational materials from Study I and II. The main objective of generating these templates is to aid health professionals in producing valuable health education materials. However, these templates were retested with another set of materials to ensure that they produce complete coverage of educational concepts. The last phase in the project was the generation of Cancer Patient Educational Materials that acted as artifacts for the previous templates produced in the second phase of the project.