Author(s): Ahmed S, Quinlan E, McMullen L, Thomas R, Fichtner P,
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Abstract BACKGROUND: Lymphedema can cause significant physical impairment and quality-of-life issues. Yet there is a gap in knowledge about lymphedema among breast cancer survivors (BCS), and health care professionals (HCP). Ethnodrama is an innovative knowledge translation strategy that uses theatrical performances for dissemination of research results. We evaluated the impact of live ethnodrama on HCP' and BCS' awareness and attitudes in relation to impact of lymphedema on BCS' lives. METHODS: Ethnodrama performances were developed by script writers and a theatre director in collaboration with the investigators and BCS using data from published research and pre-performances workshops. Six interactive live performances were given to audiences of BCS, HCP, and community members in four cities across Canada. After watching these live performances, members of the audiences were asked to complete a paper-based questionnaire regarding their knowledge of lymphedema, and their attitudes and practices toward lymphedema. RESULTS: Of 238 audience members who participated in the survey, 55 (23\%) were BCS and 85 (37.5\%) were HCP. Most members rated the performances as very effective in changing their (84\%) or other people's (93\%) understanding of lymphedema; 96\% reported being motivated to seek additional information on lymphedema, and 72\% of HCP anticipated changes in their practices related to lymphedema screening. Overall no significant differences were noted in responses to ethnodrama between BCS and HCP. Open-ended responses were supportive of the findings from the closed-ended questions. CONCLUSIONS: Our results indicate that ethnodrama performances effectively convey information and positively affecting changes in HCP' and BCS' attitudes toward lymphedema.
This article was published in J Cancer
and referenced in Reproductive System & Sexual Disorders: Current Research