Published on March 31, 2021 – The way information is provided in decision aids for cancer patients, (online) tools to support patients in making an informed treatment decision, influences the effectiveness of the decision aid. New research has shown that adding animations and narrative information to these decision aids leads to more satisfied patients who better recall the information, resulting in a more informed decision regarding their treatment.
In a recent article published in Journal of Medical Internet Research, Melanie de Looper and co-authors present their findings regarding several information provision strategies to improve the effectiveness of decision aids aimed at cancer patients. First, presenting information in the form of an animation turns out to be an effective strategy. Patients who received a version of the decision aid in which the information was presented as animation were more satisfied with the information and better recalled the information than patients who received a version of the decision aid in which the information was presented as text. Subsequently the increase in satisfaction and information recall led to the patients making a more informed decision regarding their treatment. Second, information presented as narrative by adding personal and emotional information to the standard factual information resulted in higher satisfaction in patients when compared to the standard factual information only. The results of this study show that information provision in cancer decision aids can be further optimized by presenting the information in animations and adding narrative information, thereby supporting patients to make better decisions regarding their treatment.
De Looper, M., Damman, O., Smets, E., Timmermans, D., & Van Weert, J. (2020). Adapting Online Patient Decision Aids: Effects of Modality and Narration Style on Patients’ Satisfaction, Information Recall and Informed Decision Making. Journal of Health Communication, 25(9), 712-726.
For the full research article click here.