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Member Research & Reports

Member Research & Reports

Rutgers: Online Educational Videos Boost Cancer Knowledge

A recent Rutgers School of Public Health study found that online health videos can be an important source of cancer education.

“This review demonstrates the benefit of using digital videos for cancer health education ranging from cancer prevention to treatment,” said Mr. Nicholas Acuna, the paper’s lead author and a recent Rutgers School of Public Health graduate.

Examining literature from three large health databases from PubMed, MEDLINE and PsychINFO, the researchers focused on people’s cancer knowledge, their preferred method of receiving information and any changes made in behavior. They found that people who viewed online digital videos had an increase in awareness and understanding of cancer risk factors and screening procedures. They also found that YouTube was the preferred social media platform for watching these videos, over Twitter and Facebook. In addition, they noted that there was an increase in behavioral changes such as self-skin inspections and the likelihood of people seeking lung cancer screening increased after viewing online digital videos.

“By increasing access to cancer information using online platforms, we have the opportunity to reduce barriers related to health literacy and improve health in underserved populations,” said senior study author Dr. Pamela Valera, an assistant professor at Rutgers School of Public Health and an associate member of the Cancer Prevention and Control Program at Rutgers Cancer Institute of New Jersey.

Dr. Valera stressed the importance of people researching the source of video education to make sure the information is coming from a reliable source.

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