Michael Mimms

Date Approved


Embargo Period


Document Type


Degree Name

Ed.D. Educational Leadership


Educational Leadership


College of Education


Walpole, MaryBeth


Cancer--Patients; Patient education


Other Educational Administration and Supervision


The purpose of this research study was to examine the various levels of understanding that patients had about cancer when they had been diagnosed with the illness, and to improve their understanding of the radiation treatment process through the presentation of an educational video (Bogdan & Biklen, 2007). Patients often remained confused and thereby missed vital information, regardless of how many explanations or how much information they had been given to explain cancer and the options they had for treatment (Eiser, Davies, Jenny, & Glaser, 2005; Kodish et al., 2004). The goal of this study was to satisfy the need for cancer patients to be able to understand the treatment process and the terms and jargon used by the medical community. The study utilized both quantitative and qualitative strategies to enrich the quality of the research. This study incorporated pre/post survey instruments, informal observations, and journaling. This study took place from January 2009-May 2011. Cancer patients were provided with information through a DVD, an ordinary, concise, three dimensional visual medium. The fifty participants enrolled in the study were required to respond to a pre-survey and a post-survey, each consisting of 10 true/false/don't know questions. The survey questions used for the assessment were taken from the DVD they were asked to view entitled, "Cancer Treatment: Radiation Therapy and Interactive Approach to Cancer Treatment." In 8 of the 10 questions, the percentage of correct answers increased from pre-survey to post-survey, even though on 5 of the post-survey questions, more respondents answered incorrectly than answered correctly. The pre/post survey data were analyzed to determine the impact of the video presentations on cancer patients by using the Statistical Package for the Social Sciences (SPSS). The study analyzed the pre/post survey comparison citing educational gains and areas requiring improvement to determine the effort needed to improve the patients' experiences during the radiation period. When a t-test was performed comparing the means of the pre-survey and the postsurvey questions, using a t-test paired samples, only one question was found to be statistically significant at the 0.05 level (p <= .05). The patients were surveyed, and they were required to rate their knowledge/understanding of radiation in several areas. The data suggested that the patients overwhelmingly felt that they understood the process. This study produced a substantial increase from pre-to-post survey results on a majority of the questions. Patients were asked to participate in a study and demonstrate their knowledge about the treatment of their illness during a very traumatic period in their lives. Although other research suggested that patients were often confused and unclear about the medical information, this was not the response in this study (Butow et al.,1998).