Evaluating Materials to Educate Patients About Cervical Dysplasia
Women with an abnormal Papanicolaou (Pap) smear are typically referred for a colposcopy and
biopsy. However, data collected by research groups and others shows that women with
abnormal Pap smear results have limited understanding of the meaning of the results, the
causes of cervical dysplasia, and the procedures used to evaluate and treat it. This
situation is further complicated by the fact that many patients, particularly those with
less education, have low health literacy in general. This means that much of the existing
patient education materials will likely be inappropriate or ineffective for this group. One
approach is to develop materials at low literacy levels; however, it is not known whether
such materials will be provide sufficient information and be effective for patients with
high health literacy.
The long term goal is to study the importance of tailoring patient education materials to
colposcopy patients' level of health literacy. To this end, researchers have developed two
educational brochures with approximately the same information, but which vary in their
health literacy (readability) level. As a first step in this research, researchers propose
to present these materials to colposcopy patients returning for colposcopy visits to assess
changes in knowledge and obtain patient feedback on the brochures.
The proposed pilot study represents the first step at evaluating the patient education
materials and determining the patient's level of understanding of what they receive.
Observational Model: Case-Only, Time Perspective: Prospective
To study the importance of tailoring patient education materials to colposcopy patients' level of health literacy.
Karen Karen Basen-Engquist, PhD
M.D. Anderson Cancer Center
United States: Institutional Review Board
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