Article

The effects of Internet or interactive computer-based patient education in the field of breast cancer: A systematic literature review

Department of Nursing Science, University of Turku and Department of Oncology and Radiotherapy, Turku University Hospital, Turku, Finland.
Patient Education and Counseling (Impact Factor: 2.6). 10/2009; 79(1):5-13. DOI: 10.1016/j.pec.2009.08.005
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT The aim of this systematic review was to analyze what kind of Internet or interactive computer-based patient education programs have been developed and to analyze the effectiveness of these programs in the field of breast cancer patient education. Patient education for breast cancer patients is an important intervention to empower the patient. However, we know very little about the effects and potential of Internet-based patient education in the empowerment of breast cancer patients.
Complete databases were searched covering the period from the beginning of each database to November 2008. Studies were included if they concerned patient education for breast cancer patients with Internet or interactive computer programs and were based on randomized controlled, on clinical trials or quasi-experimental studies.
We identified 14 articles involving 2374 participants. The design was randomized controlled trial in nine papers, in two papers clinical trial and in three quasi-experimental. Seven of the studies were randomized to experimental and control groups, in two papers participants were grouped by ethnic and racial differences and by mode of Internet use and three studies measured the same group pre- and post-tests after using a computer program. The interventions used were described as interactive computer or multimedia programs and use of the Internet. The methodological solutions of the studies varied. The effects of the studies were diverse except for knowledge-related issues. Internet or interactive computer-based patient education programs in the care of breast cancer patients may have positive effect increasing breast cancer knowledge.
The results suggest a positive relationship between the Internet or computer-based patient education program use and the knowledge level of patients with breast cancer but a diverse relationship between patient's participation and other outcome measures.
There is need to develop and research more Internet-based patient education.

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