Targeted Preoperative Patient Education Materials for Colorectal Surgery

Project Concept

As of 2021, colorectal cancer (CRC) is the second leading cause of cancer deaths worldwide (Przedlacka et al., 2021). Low socioeconomic status and neighborhood disadvantage are associated with an increased risk of CRC incidence and mortality (Coughlin, 2020). In an area of needed improvement, preoperative education materials help manage patient expectations and impart knowledge that may reduce anxiety and treatment dissatisfaction (Koet et al., 2021; Steves & Scafide, 2021). Standard clinician-led teaching may be augmented by multimedia platforms and/or interactive materials that promote active patient involvement, increasing comprehension and engagement (Glaser et al., 2020; Turkdogan et al., 2022). Moreover, current literature demonstrates promise in emerging 3D modeling and printing techniques as vehicles for delivering facts regarding complex anatomy (Emile & Wexner, 2019; Przedlacka et al., 2021). When designing for patients, it is important to note health literacy, caregiver inclusion, access, and procedures associated with poorer health outcomes. Patients who do not understand the extent or consequences of their surgery report greater psychological strain and a lower overall quality of life. (Levett & Grimmett, 2019). This intervention will address the need for presurgical education in CRC patients by delivering media targeted to patient needs. In-clinic efficacious media will consist of an interactive web module and a physical, interactive 3D model. The web module will contain nested 3D animations and necessary information in a patient-friendly way, while the 3D model will communicate the complex procedure of a rectal prolapse repair. 

Potential Contribution to Biocommunication

From a media and literature review, there is a paucity of patient resources for colorectal surgery that deliberately depict blood supply, mesentery, lymph nodes, and intestine with a patient-friendly aesthetic. Animations will be created with assistance from Topaz Labs and Neat Video, allowing for the evaluation of this novel AI software. The workflow speed and quality of these interpolation programs will be compared to traditional rendering. While optimized for use in clinic without needing internet, the module will also be available online. As the first physical 3D model of its kind, the rectal prolapse repair design will maintain anatomical accuracy in tandem with patient-friendly didactic style. Detachable sections of flexible anatomy will depict complex spatial relationships and promote interactivity as the clinician demonstrates their approach. 


Faculty advisor: Amanda Behr, MA, CCA, CMI, FAMI

Augusta University, Department of Medical Illustration

Content expert: Linda Farkas, MD

Medical College of Georgia, Department of Surgery: Surgical Oncology

The Multimedia Module: A Fully Responsive Experience

Animation Stills

Color Storyboard Examples