11:14pm Wednesday 23 October 2019

A picture is worth a thousand words

The McGill University Health Centre (MUHC) has created a unique online Patient Education Guide that aims to support cancer patients and their families as they integrate complex clinical information, treatment options and care management strategies. Using a highly visual, multimedia-based design, the guide, which is also available to the general public, incorporates easily understandable information in a self-paced, self-directed format, and is meant to complement the existing healthcare professional and patient dialogue.

The team that developed the MUHC Patient Education Guide began with a module on Breast Cancer but, with great support from the Cedars Cancer Institute at the MUHC, intends to create additional modules that cover all of the cancers treated at the MUHC. “These modules will support current patient education initiatives as well as permit a greater depth of understanding on the part of patients and their families,” says Dr. David Fleiszer, MUHC surgeon and Director of the MUHC Education Portfolio.

The module contains a series of chapters, and reviews information about cancer, treatment options, care management, chemotherapy, radiation therapy, and follow-up. The use of an image-rich approach with minimal text helps patients overcome barriers to learning such as literacy, health-literacy, language and culture. “Focusing on combining images and words can enhance understanding,” says MUHC Patient Education Consultant Julia Thomas.

“This MUHC Patient Education Guide allows us to capture, package and distribute the MUHC’s internationally recognized professional expertise,” explains the Hon. Arthur T. Porter, MUHC Director General and CEO. “This initiative gives a clear picture of the breadth of talent available across the MUHC, how we aim to encourage inter-professional approaches to health practices and what the Best Care for Life truly means.”

The MUHC Patient Education Guide also has a research component. “We will investigate the potential impact of the use of arts-informed patient education material and, specifically, the role of multimedia imagery on patient comprehension and retention, perceived satisfaction, and anxiety levels,” says Nancy Posel, Associate Director of the McGill Molson Project and one of the investigators.
This program is funded by the McGill University Health Centre, the Cedars Cancer Institute at the McGill University Health Centre, the Montreal General Hospital Foundation, the Molson Foundation and other private donations. Follow this link to visit the Patient Education Guide: Breast Cancer: http://patienteducation.muhc.ca

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About the McGill University Health Centre (MUHC) One of the world’s foremost academic health centres, the MUHC offers exceptional and integrated patient-centric care, research and teaching. Highly committed to the continuum of care in its community and affiliated with the Faculty of Medicine of McGill University, The Montreal Children’s Hospital, the Montreal General Hospital, the Royal Victoria Hospital, the Montreal Neurological Hospital, the Montreal Chest Institute and the Lachine Hospital of the MUHC value multidisciplinary service throughout the life span, innovative technologies and practices, strategic partnerships and leadership in knowledge transfer. The MUHC is currently carrying out a $2.25-billion Redevelopment Project on three campuses—the Mountain, the Glen and Lachine—designed to provide healthcare professionals with an effective environment in which to ensure patients and their families benefit from The Best Care for Life. The campuses are also anchored in best sustainable-development practices, including LEED® and BOMA BESt guidelines. www.muhc.ca www.muhc.ca/construction

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