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Web-Based Patient Engagement Lowers Anxiety for First-Time Colonoscopy Patients

November 14, 2013
by Gabriel Perna
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A web-based patient engagement program lowered anxiety, sedation medication requirements, and shortened procedure times for first-time colonoscopy patients, a new study at Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center (DHMC) and the Geisel School of Medicine at Dartmouth recently revealed.

The researchers at DHMC conducted a controlled study looking at how an interactive web-based multimedia program could impact patient anxiety, perception and knowledge of colonoscopy. Fifty-one patients were given DHMC’s standard printed pre-procedure colonoscopy packet while 52 watched the interactive web-based program (from the Chicago-based, Emmi Solutions) as well as the same printed packet.

After surveying the patients to assess their knowledge of colonoscopy, their emotional state prior to the procedure and their understanding of potential outcomes, the researchers found that the ones who used the web-based program had “significantly lower anxiety scores the day of colonoscopy as compared to the control group. They also required 18 percent less sedation medication, had a 14 decrease in procedure time, and were 11 percent more knowledgeable about colonoscopy.

“Patients have a lot of anxiety about colonoscopy, mostly due to uncertainty about the prep, the procedure and what might be found,” Corey Siegel, M.D., Director of the Inflammatory Bowel Disease Center at DHMC, said in a statement. “If they come in more knowledgeable about the procedure, they know what to expect and are more comfortable and relaxed once they arrive at the hospital and during the procedure itself.”

Dr. Siegel and DHMC recently helped develop an interactive, web-based decision aid that aims to educate patients on Crohn’s Disease with Emmi.

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