Living with Cancer: an Educational Intervention in Cancer Patients Can Improve Patient-Reported Knowledge Deficit

Leslie Padrnos, Robert Bennett, Heidi Kosiorek, Amylou C. Dueck, Donald Northfelt, Joseph Mikhael, Raoul Tibes, Nandita Khera, Ruben A. Mesa

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


A cancer diagnosis requires significant information to facilitate health care decision making, understand management options, and health care system navigation. Patient knowledge deficit can decrease quality of life and health care compliance. Surveys were distributed to attendees of the Mayo Clinic “Living with and Surviving Cancer” patient symposium January 2015. Follow-up survey was sent to participants 3 months after the symposium. Surveys included demographic data and patient-reported disease comprehension, symptom burden, desired information, and quality-of-life assessment. Demographics: 113 patients completed the pre-intervention survey. Average age was 64.7 years. Disease types included hematologic (N = 50) and solid malignancies (N = 77). Most patients self-reported adequate baseline understanding of their disease (80 %), screening tests (74 %), and monitoring tools (72 %). Lowest knowledge topics were legal issues (13 %) and pain management (35 %). Pre- and post-analysis: 79 of the initial 113 participants completed both surveys. In the post-symposium setting, durable knowledge impact was noted in disease understanding (pre 80 % vs post 92 %), treatment options (pre 60 % vs post 76 %), nutrition (pre 68 % vs post 84 %), and legal issues (pre 15 % vs post 32 %). Most patients desired increased understanding regarding disease, screening tests, nutrition, and stress and fatigue management. The level of desired information for these topics decreased in the post-symposium setting, statistically significant decrease noted in 4 of 5 topics assessed. Knowledge needs and deficit in cancer care range from disease-specific topics, social stressors, and health care navigation. A cancer patient-centered symposium can improve patient-reported knowledge deficit, with durable responses at 3 months, but patient needs persist.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)653-659
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Cancer Education
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jun 1 2018


  • Cancer education
  • Cancer survivorship
  • Cancer symposium
  • Educational intervention
  • Patient education
  • Patient knowledge
  • Quality of life
  • Survivorship

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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