Impact of a Multimedia e-Learning Module on Colon Cancer Literacy: A Community-Based Pilot Study

Stefan D. Holubar, J. Peyton Hassinger, Eric J. Dozois, Bruce G. Wolff, Michael Kehoe, Robert R. Cima

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Scopus citations


Background: We aimed to determine if an e-learning module could improve colon cancer literacy in a community-based cohort, while obtaining variability estimates for subsequent study. Methods: A convenience sample of subjects attending a health-education fair was surveyed to determine colon cancer literacy before-and-after viewing a colon cancer e-learning module. The difference in cancer literacy scores was assessed for significance using univariate analysis. Results: Twenty-two eligible subjects completed the survey: mean age 77.2 ± 7.5 y, 55% women; 67% had at least some graduate-level education. Baseline colon cancer literacy was 72.6% ± 11.6%; after the e-learning module, the mean colon cancer literacy score was 75.5% ± 12.2%, representing a 3% improvement (P = 0.33). After excluding a single problematic item identified by item analysis, the adjusted improvement was 7% (P = 0.04). Invasiveness, malignant, and metastatic remained poorly understood concepts, while a large improvement (45%) was seen regarding the role of routine lymphadenectomy. Subject satisfaction with the module was universally (100%) high or very high. Conclusions: Use of an e-learning module is associated with high patient satisfaction, and has potential to improve colon cancer literacy in laypersons. Randomized study is warranted to determine the incremental impact of this and other multimedia educational interventions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)305-311
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Surgical Research
Issue number2
StatePublished - Oct 1 2009


  • colon cancer
  • computer-assisted instruction
  • e-learning
  • education
  • individualized medicine
  • multimedia
  • patient literacy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery


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