Objective: To examine the impact of an 8-week cancer multimedia informational intervention on health-related outcomes among individuals newly diagnosed with cancer.
Methods: Using a pre-/post-quasi-experimental design, participants with breast or prostate cancer (n=250) were conveniently recruited from four oncology ambulatory clinics and completed questionnaires at three points (enrolment, 1-2 weeks post-intervention, and 3 months later).
Results: Repeated-measure analyses showed that, when compared to controls, the intervention significantly improved satisfaction with cancer information over time for women (p<.001), prevented deterioration in functional quality of life (p=.030) and marginally improved perceived oncologist informational support (p=.051). There were no significant differences in psychosocial adjustment among men. Unlike previously suggested, the intervention did not have a differential impact according to levels of personal resources (self-esteem, mastery, and optimism). However, for all outcomes and regardless of group, participants high in personal resources reported better adjustment across time.
Conclusion: Even though the hypotheses were only partially supported, the findings provide preliminary evidence that multimedia interventions can be supportive.
Practice implications: With increasing numbers of new cancer diagnoses, cancer survivors and more limited health care resources, further research is needed to evaluate potential benefits of health information technology in providing support to individuals facing cancer.
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