Videos designed to help patients understand and manage chronic rheumatologic diseases can lead to gains in clarity about the disease duration, symptoms, medications, and the importance of regular visits with a physician.
A study published in a recent issue of Arthritis Care & Research looks at the development and impact of three educational videos for patients with a diagnosis of knee osteoarthritis (OA), osteoporosis (OP) and rheumatoid arthritis (RA).1 The videos are each about 20 minutes in length and were recorded in both English and Spanish language versions. The developers used an edutainment model that is particularly suited for patients who have low or limited health literacy, have limited access to written materials about their condition or whose reading ability is not high enough to fully comprehend written patient information.
“Knowledge about a condition plays a big role in successful disease management,” says Maria Lopez-Olivo, MD, PhD, assistant professor in the Department of General Internal Medicine at the University of Texas, MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston, and a study author.
“Different methods can impact learning. We wanted to make sure that those patients who have difficulty understanding written information will gain information from these videos, which use low-level vocabulary and are also fun and entertaining,” she says.
Poor health literacy has been identified as having a negative effect on health outcomes, including an increased risk of hospital admission and poorer disease management.2,3 The main objective of Dr. Lopez-Olivo and colleagues’ study, supported by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ), was to translate consumer guide information about the three conditions available from AHRQ into a multimedia format. The AHRQ information, although readily available to most patients, does not always reach those who have limited access or limited literacy, according to the researchers.
The edutainment model used for the videos presents factual information about options within a framework that includes engaging stories presented as soap operas or telenovelas. These stories depict a main character with OA, OP or RA. Each soap opera-style episode is linked to continuous learning modules of approximately one to two minutes. The episodes give a real-life context for the information, as well as a narrator who emphasizes the key learning points.
Each video includes an overview of the condition; a description of the treatment options; a patient story or testimonial; description of the harms, risks and benefits of various treatment or management options; a second testimonial; review of the key facts; and the final testimonial. In each video, patient testimonials highlight the confusion patients initially may have about their condition, the medication options, and why they need to show up for regular appointments with their doctor.