Systematic review of interventions to improve the provision of information for adults with primary brain tumors and their caregivers

Front Oncol. 2015 Jan 23;5:1. doi: 10.3389/fonc.2015.00001. eCollection 2015.


Background: Adults with primary brain tumors and their caregivers have significant information needs. This review assessed the effect of interventions to improve information provision for adult primary brain tumor patients and/or their caregivers.

Methods: We included randomized or non-randomized trials testing educational interventions that had outcomes of information provision, knowledge, understanding, recall, or satisfaction with the intervention, for adults diagnosed with primary brain tumors and/or their family or caregivers. PubMed, MEDLINE, EMBASE, and Cochrane Reviews databases were searched for studies published between 1980 and June 2014.

Results: Two randomized controlled, 1 non-randomized controlled, and 10 single group pre-post trials enrolled more than 411 participants. Five group, four practice/process change, and four individual interventions assessed satisfaction (12 studies), knowledge (4 studies), and information provision (2 studies). Nine studies reported high rates of satisfaction. Three studies showed statistically significant improvements over time in knowledge and two showed greater information was provided to intervention than control group participants, although statistical testing was not performed.

Discussion: The trials assessed intermediate outcomes such as satisfaction, and only 4/13 reported on knowledge improvements. Few trials had a randomized controlled design and risk of bias was either evident or could not be assessed in most domains.

Keywords: brain tumor; caregivers; doctor–patient communication; information; neuro-oncology.

Publication types

  • Review