A cancer diagnosis is overwhelming and can have
a definite impact on patients’ ability to retain infor-
mation. Their recall of instructions and descriptions
may be enhanced by utilizing visual cues and reduc-
ing language complexity. The literature suggests that
use of visual information will result in cognitive gain
and improve recall. In our clinic recently, we have
initiated poster education in addition to verbal and
written review of symptom management, with anec-
dotal feedback from patients being positive.
Introduction: VANJ Health Care System participated
in the National Oral, Head & Neck Cancer Awareness Week in April 2013. Three outpatient clinics
in northern and central New Jersey provided open-access oral, head, and neck cancer screening for veterans and non-veteran employees. Methods: The
screening was advertised by electronic mail systems,
posters throughout the medical centers, health care
provider recommendations, and employee health
promotion. Dentists, oral surgeons, dental residents,
surgical oncologists, and nurse practitioners provided screening and health education. Health-promotion specialists offered education on
smoking cessation. Results: Forty-nine individuals
were screened and educated, with 7 of them sent
for further evaluation. Four patients were referred
to Oral Surgery; 2 consulted with Dermatology, and
1 participant was advised to see Gastroenterology.
The average age of those screened was 60 years old.
Males made up the majority at 67%. Non-veteran
employees who requested screening included
45% of those screened. Ten percent of the population had a family history of head and neck cancer.
The lifetime use of alcohol was 26.5 years, and the
lifetime tobacco use was comprised of 20 pack/yrs.
Current tobacco users numbered approximately
26%. Fifty-nine percent of participants stated that
their knowledge about head and neck cancers increased in terms of risk factors, signs, and symptoms as well as self-examinations. Discussion:
Almost one-half of those screened were non-veteran employees who were not previously included
in such events. Their high turnout indicated an
awareness of the importance of oral, head, and neck
cancer screening, and our plan is to include more non-veterans in future screening events.
34. Non-veteran Employees Seek Oral, Head,
and Neck Cancer Screening
Goyer P, Staton A, Cheng K, Binda L, Mohit M.
Veterans Affairs New Jersey (VANJ) Health Care System, East Orange, NJ
35. Effects of Visual Cues and Language Complexity
to Improve Patient Understanding of Symptom Management in
the Outpatient Oncology/Hematology Setting
Brennan C, Jackson A, France K, Vandeloo N.
Stratton Veterans Affairs Hospital, Albany, NY