PURPOSE: To compare the helpfulness of two educational aids or booklets on early-stage prostate cancer.
METHOD: Participating consecutive patients and a family member, in three centres, received one of two booklets, one produced by AstraZeneca (AZ), the other produced by us (CCE); the patient and family shared a booklet but were separate study participants. The primary outcome was the Purpose-based Information Assessment completed after participants read their booklet; they rated the importance (4-point Likert scale) of six potential purposes for the information: to help organize their thoughts, understand their situations, decide on treatment, plan, provide emotional support to others, and discuss issues. Each participant then rated how helpful their booklet was (4-point Likert scale) in addressing each purpose they had rated above the lowest importance category. Participants mailed in their responses.
RESULTS: Complete data were received from 308 (81%) of those who consented to the study: 152 in the CCE group and 156 in the AZ group. The CCE booklet was read for a longer time [x² = 28.61, p = 0.00] but was easier to find information in x² = 7.6, p = 0.05]. Although for each purpose, most readers rated each booklet in one of the top two (of four) helpfulness categories, the CCE booklet was rated more helpful for: organizing [x² = 30.49, p = 0.00], understanding [x² = 12.07, p = .007], deciding [x² = 9.96, p = 0.02] and planning [x² = 18.67, p = 0.00].
CONCLUSIONS: High helpfulness ratings of both booklets suggest that patients benefit from education aids while differences in the booklet ratings suggest that aids are not equally helpful. The CCE booklet, the more helpful booklet of this study, is a systematically developed education aid available to urologists in Canada.