From Digestive Disease Week, New Orleans, Louisiana:
Getting patients to do the proper prep for a colonoscopy remains a problem for gastroenterologists. To try to clear up the confusion, some doctors are doing what they can to create patient education materials that take health literacy into account.
One talk at this year’s Digestive Disease Week described the success of educational colonoscopy prep material aimed at a 5th or 6th grade level.
Dr. Brennan Spiegel of the West Los Angeles Veterans Aaffairs Medical Center and his colleagues developed a booklet using both text and pictures to explain the correct preparation, after conducting interviews with patients and providers to identify common barriers. The brochures include capital letters and Xs through pictures of what not to eat or drink, as well as pictures and descriptions of what “clear” fluids are.
For example, “if you can read newspaper through it, it’s clear (picture and description of apple juice). If not, it is not clear (picture and description of orange juice).
The materials also showed a picture of the same stretch of curvy, country road on a clear, sunny day, and during a snowstorm, to illustrate why proper prep is important: A clear colon is easier for the doctor to “drive” through.
In the study presented at the meeting, the researchers randomized 93 colonoscopy patients to receive the new material and 106 controls to receive standard prep instructions. Prep quality was rated using a tool called the Ottawa score. The average Ottawa scores were significantly higher among patients who received the new booklet, even after controlling for multiple variables.
Clinicians, are you developing any new material to improve the quality of your patients’ colonoscopy preps that takes health literacy into account? What works well in your practices?
— Heidi Splete (on twitter @hsplete)