Physicians Develop Breast Cancer Multimedia CD For Patients at Grady
Women who have
problems reading and understanding complex brochures about breast cancer
and mammograms now have another means of grasping the same information,
thanks to an interactive CD-ROM program developed by two Emory University
School of Medicine physicians at Grady Memorial Hospital.
The 12-minute CD is part
of a study being conducted at Grady Hospital by internists Erica Brownfield
and Mark Williams, entitled Increasing Women's Health Literacy of
Screening Mammography Using a Multi-Media Program. The study, made
possible through educational grants from Pfizer, Inc. and the American
Cancer Society, aims to increase mammography rates in women who would
not ordinarily receive mammograms.
The study begins this month,
and targets African-American women, who, according to Standardized Epidemiology
and End Results (SEER) data from 1994 to 1998, have a 35 percent higher
mortality rate than white women in the United States. The Grady study
is specifically targeted at women with low health literacy skills, which
refers to the ability to read, understand and act appropriately on health
care information. The purpose of the study is to determine whether the
CD-ROM will change women's behavior about mammograms.
"Although we can educate
women about breast cancer, we do not know what the most effective way
is," Dr. Brownfield explained. "We're trying to keep up with the 21st
century and by using multi-media CD-ROM technology, we hope to develop
an educational vehicle that can be easily distributed through other
hospitals throughout the city and country."
Dr. Brownfield estimates
that about one-third of patients at Grady have inadequate health literacy,
and up to 80 percent among women over age 60. In bypassing printed brochures,
Dr. Brownfield hopes many women will receive the same information from
graphics and audio on the computer.
To date, there is no other
study examining a multi-media program to educate women about breast
cancer and mammography.
"We're trying to change women's
behavior," Dr. Brownfield said.
Upon viewing the CD, which
features several breast cancer survivors sharing their personal experiences,
patients are taken through a touch screen, interactive program that
highlights the importance of mammography. Each woman in the video urges
female viewers to have annual mammograms, explaining that early detection
for breast cancer saves lives. Patients continue touching the screen
to advance to other sections of the interactive program.
Drs. Brownfield and Williams
plan to recruit 250 in-patients for the study. Women will then be tracked
two to three months after the study to discover if they received a mammogram
and whether their knowledge and attitudes changed about mammography
and breast cancer.
For more information regarding
the study, call (404) 616-8563.