The challenge

Around 3 million people in the UK have CKD (1). Many patients with a chronic illness, such as CKD, find it difficult to understand health information, which can lead to poor health outcomes, reduced quality of life, and increased costs to the NHS (2,3).

West Berkshire NHS Foundation Trust was looking for a solution to support patients with CKD, by presenting engaging and accessible health information to help them understand their diagnosis, staging, and how to look after their renal health. The ultimate aim was to help patients to better understand and manage their health, thus improving health outcomes (such as avoidable complications and disease progression) and reducing demand on resources. The initial objective was to evaluate how patients understand and want to consume information about their condition.

The solution

YouTube video

A co-creation approach was adopted to evaluate how patients understand and want to consume health information about CKD. Two different content types were delivered to patients with newly diagnosed or pre-existing CKD:
1) A 3D avatar-led interactive video in an easy-to-understand format, also available as an immersive experience on Google Cardboard
2) Written information with diagrams
These content types were compared to assess patient preference, acceptance, satisfaction and knowledge retention.

The results

Results showed that patients found the interactive, digital information easier to understand and navigate vs written information; 95% of patients ‘strongly agreed’ or ‘agreed’ that they knew more about CKD having viewed the programme (compared with 88% for written information). 100% of respondents found the content ‘easy to understand’ and ‘easy to find the information that they wanted to find’, compared with 88% of patients who were given written information only. The programme has been so well received by patients and clinicians in Berkshire, it is being extended to run for longer, converted into different languages and will cover additional subject areas.

“I like having written information but watching it on a phone made it all feel a bit easier to get to grips with” – Patient

“This app provides high tech, high quality information making it more accessible to patients that struggle with literacy” – GP

References:

1. Kidney Care UK. Facts and stats. Available at: https://www.kidneycareuk.org/news-and-campaigns/facts-and-stats/. Accessed September 2021
2. Rowlands G et al. A mismatch between population health literacy and the complexity of health information: an observational study. Br J Gen Pract 2015;65(635):e379-e386
3. NHS England. Blog: Does health literacy matter? Available at: https://www.england.nhs.uk/blog/jonathan-berry/. Accessed September 2021

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