Objective: To test a multimedia patient education program on colorectal cancer (CRC) screening that was designed specifically for the Hispanic/Latino community, and developed with input from community members.
Methods: A total of 270 Hispanic/Latino adults, age 50-80 years, participated in Spanish for all phases of this pretest-posttest design. Patients were randomly assigned to a version of the multimedia program that opened with either a positive or negative introductory appeal. Structured interviews assessed screening relevant knowledge (anatomy and key terms, screening options, and risk information), past screening behavior, willingness to consider screening options, intention to discuss CRC screening with the doctor, and reactions to the multimedia patient education program.
Results: The multimedia program significantly increased knowledge of anatomy and key terms (e.g., polyp), primary screening options (FOBT, flexible sigmoidoscopy, colonoscopy), and risk information as well as willingness to consider screening (p<.001 for all). No significant differences emerged between positive and negative introductory appeals on these measures, intention to discuss CRC screening with their doctor, or rating the multimedia program.
Conclusion: Multimedia tools developed with community input that are designed to present important health messages using graphics and audio can reach Hispanic/Latino adults across literacy levels and ethnic backgrounds. Additional research is needed to determine effects on actual screening behavior.
Practice implications: Despite promising results for engaging a difficult-to-reach audience, the multimedia program should not be considered a stand-alone intervention or a substitute for communication with physicians. Rather, it is a priming mechanism intended to prepare patients for productive discussions of CRC screening.