Multimedia Education Platform Appears Effective in Head and Neck Cancer


Use of a multimedia education platform appeared to compliment traditional education methods and provide complementary information on treatment and recovery for those with head and neck cancer.

Multimedia education platforms appear to be effective in conveying information on treatment, recovery process, mental health, family life, and supplementary services for patients with head and neck cancer, according to a study (NCT04048538) published in JAMA Otolaryngology Head and Neck Surgery.

Patients who were given information via the education platform had an 11.3-point (Cohen d = 1.02; control group score, 61.1 of 80; treatment group score, 72.4 of 80) difference in 1 month in postoperative satisfaction. Despite both patients groups reporting to have received an adequate amount of information with regard to their disease, those in the treatment arm reported having more satisfaction with information regarding medical tests, treatments, and other services.

“This randomized clinical trial found that use of a multimedia patient education platform increased patient satisfaction in individuals who were undergoing head and neck surgery. Leveraging novel information technologies during the perioperative period is a feasible, accessible, and effective intervention to address existing inadequacies in traditional, clinician-led surgical counseling,” the investigators wrote.

At baseline, 121 patients completed the evaluations. Among this population, 100 patients, including 50 in the treatment and 50 in the control arm, completed the postoperative questionnaire 1 month following surgery and were included in the statistical analysis. Patients had similar characteristics between groups, but those in the control arm had fewer patients who underwent thyroidectomy and parathyroidectomy.

One hundred percent of patients using the multimedia platform described the videos as easy to understand, reported it was an appropriate length, and would recommend the video to others with a similar diagnosis. Additionally, patients described the videos as being useful and an effective way of communicating pertinent information.

Across all domains, patients in the treatment arm had higher satisfaction scores. The most notable difference between the 2 intervention arms was with regard to the amount of information received pertaining to accessible services (196 vs 131), which included a 64-point cumulative difference (95% CI, 60.2-68.9 points: Cohen d = 1.28). Investigators also identified similar differences with regard to treatment information (195 vs 143), including a 52-point cumulative difference (95% CI, 44.5-59.2 points: Cohen d = 1.05), and medical tests (174 vs 129), including a 45-point cumulative difference (95% CI, 40.1-49.0 points; Cohen d = 0.81).

When investigators asked, “How much information have you received about the diagnosis of your disease?”, 93% of patients in the standard group vs 100% in the test group responded “very much.” Moving forward, both groups felt that they had received enough information regarding disease progression, mental health, family life, supplementary services, and the recovery process.

Postoperative scores ranged from 20, meaning completely dissatisfied, to 80, meaning completely satisfied across all domains. The control group had a mean raw score of 61.1 compared with 72.4 in the intervention group.

A multivariate analysis could not identify risk factors that would lead towards dissatisfaction. This analysis investigated an assessment at each baseline demographic, type of surgery performed, and each individual surgeon. Investigators collected patient feedback to help improve the platform for future use.

“This randomized clinical trial showed a large increase in patient satisfaction with the use of a novel multimedia platform to enhance perioperative patient education across various com- mon head and neck surgeries…. Further research is required to assess whether use of the multimodal patient education platform may translate to improved short-term and long-term outcomes, such as hospital length of stay, pain management on discharge, and return to regular activities,” the investigators concluded.


Turkdogan S, Roy CF, Chartier G, et al. Effect of perioperative patient education via animated videos in patients undergoing head and neck surgery: a randomized clinical trial. JAMA Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg. 2021;10.1001/jamaoto.2021.3765. doi:10.1001/jamaoto.2021.3765

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