Patient Preference for Instructional Reinforcement Regarding Prevention of Radiation Dermatitis

Pamela Laszewski, BSN, RN, OCN®; Cynthia Zelko, RN, OCN®; Lena Andriths, RN, OCN®; Eva Vera Cruz, BSN, RN, OCN®; Carole Bauer, MSN, RN, ANP-BC, OCN®, CWOCN®; and Morris A. Magnan, PhD, RN


Background: Although patient preference is a core value within the context of patient-centered models of care, little attention has been paid to determining patient preference for instructional media. Nurses have traditionally used verbal face-to-face instruction as the mainstay of patient education, with written materials being used extensively as teaching guides to supplement verbal instruction or for instructional reinforcement. However, advances in technology have made possible the adding of video instruction to nurses' repertoire of instructional media.

Objectives: The purpose of this study was to determine patients' media preferences (verbal, video, written) when receiving instructional reinforcement about self-care needed to prevent radiation dermatitis.

Methods: The current study was conducted as a secondary analysis of data from a process improvement initiative. In the parent study, patients received multimedia education related to skin care to prevent radiation dermatitis. This secondary analysis examined patient preference for verbal, video, or written education reinforcement at treatment weeks 1 and 3.

Findings: Results suggest that, when given a choice, verbal and video reinforcement are preferred over written reinforcement.

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