March 2, 2022

Case study: Implementing patient-directed cancer education in Nigeria

As access to cancer care expands in low- and middle-income countries, developing tools to educate patients and caretakers has never been more important. CHAI adapted for use in Nigeria a pictorial educational booklet, initially developed by the nonprofit Global Oncology (GO) for use in Malawi and Rwanda, to support patient education of treatment side effects to encourage treatment adherence.

The original English-language booklet was initially given to patients at a single site and providers from four sites. The booklet was then translated into Hausa, Yoruba, Igbo, and Pidgin English, based on recommendations from the first cohort of patients and providers, and distributed at three additional sites.

A CHAI-led qualitative study including basic demographic and pre-and post-test data revealed the booklet was widely accepted by the new cohort, with 94 percent of patients recommending it for use inpatient care. The study also provided additional insights; only half of the patients knew whether their treatment was curative or palliative and most struggled with disease-related mental health issues. It also revealed a significant limitation – since most of the three-site cohort had cancer for some time, they were well informed about the disease, therefore, it was difficult to measure the booklet’s impact on overall knowledge. This suggests that future studies should target patients immediately after their cancer diagnosis to support treatment initiation and retention.

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