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Completing a Life: Comfort Level and Ease of Use of a CD-ROM Among Seriously III Patients

Angela Lambing
Carolyn Anne Markey
Christine M. Neslund-Dudas
Leslie J. Bricker
ONF 2006, 33(5), 999-1006 DOI: 10.1188/06.ONF.999-1006

Purpose/Objectives: To evaluate use of a CD-ROM titled Completing a Life among patients diagnosed with serious illnesses for comfort level with content and ease of computer use.

Design: A prospective pilot study collected a convenience sample of 50 people diagnosed with life-limiting illnesses during a six-month period.

Setting: The hematology/oncology department of a large healthcare system located in a metropolitan area in the midwestern United States.

Sample: Convenience sample of 50 patients diagnosed with life-limiting illnesses. Of the patients enrolled (age range = 38-93 years), 72% were female, 68% were Caucasian, 50% were diagnosed with breast cancer or nonsolid tumors, and 40% were newly diagnosed.

Methods: Subjects viewed the CD-ROM and completed pre- and postintervention surveys.

Main Research Variables: Comfort level with educational media, comfort level of information viewed, and areas of CD-ROM viewed compared to age and stage of illness.

Findings: Ninety percent of patients reported that they were somewhat or very comfortable with the CD-ROM as a learning tool, and ease of use was rated at 98%. Patients' comfort level with the material increased from 76% to 90% after they viewed the CD-ROM.

Conclusions: The pilot study suggests that the Completing a Life CD-ROM can be used with patients facing serious or life-limiting illnesses as an additional resource tool for information.

Implications for Nursing: Nurses typically provide the bulk of educational material for their patients. With limited resources available regarding management of life-limiting illnesses, this resource may provide an excellent addition to resources currently available.

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