Quality of life and disease understanding: Impact of attending a patient-centered cancer symposium

Leslie Padrnos, Amylou C. Dueck, Robyn Scherber, Pamela Glassley, Rachel Stigge, Donald Northfelt, Joseph Mikhael, Annette Aguirre, Robert M. Bennett, Ruben A. Mesa

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


To evaluate the impact of a patient-centered symposium as an educational intervention on a broad population of cancer patients. We developed a comprehensive patient symposium. Through voluntary questionnaires, we studied the impact of this cancer symposium on quality of life, cancer-specific knowledge, and symptom management among cancer patients. Symposium attendees were provided surveys prior to and 3 months following the educational intervention. Surveys included (1) EORTC-QLQ-C30; (2) disease understanding tool developed for this conference; (3) validated disease-specific questionnaires. Changes over time were assessed using McNemar's tests and paired t-tests for categorical and continuous variables, respectively. A total of 158 attendees completed the pre-convention survey. Most respondents reported at least "quite a bit" of understanding regarding treatment options, screening modalities, symptomatology, and cancer-related side effects. Attendees endorsed the least understanding of disease-related stress, risk factors, fatigue management, and legal issues related to disease/treatment. At 3 months, there was improvement in understanding (12 of 14 areas of self-reported knowledge especially regarding nutrition, and stress/fatigue management). However, no significant change was seen in QLQ-C30 functioning, fatigue, pain, or insomnia. A patient symposium, as an educational intervention improves a solid knowledge base amongst attendees regarding their disease, increases knowledge in symptom management, but may be insufficient to impact QoL as a single intervention.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)800-807
Number of pages8
JournalCancer Medicine
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 1 2015
Externally publishedYes


  • Cancer education
  • Cancer survivorship
  • Cancer symposia
  • Educational intervention
  • Patient education
  • Quality of life

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging
  • Cancer Research


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