Alleviating Pre-Procedure Anxiety with Educational Materials

AMANDA DEMOPOULOS My credentials include HIPAA certification, CITI training, extensive and involved volunteer work at The Miriam Hospital (TMH) of Providence, RI, and data analysis software training.  I volunteered for two years at TMH. This summer I will be conducting research at Rhode Island Hospital, which is a partnering hospital to the Miriam Hospital. I am familiar with data processes, as I have taken statistics, Matlab, and linear algebra, all of which will help me compress large amounts of data to find significant or insignificant relationships. This research will expand upon what I have learned in class, and help me decide my future career options. Amanda was funded by the Summer Undergraduate Research Grant program in Northwestern's Office of Undergraduate Research.  It provides a living expense stipend for students to explore independent research and/or creative projects.

Enrolling Patients


We just enrolled our very first patient this morning! She was very excited to help improve the quality of the consent process. The tablets seem to be working well.  During our first trial, we realized the patient didn’t know when to stop and hand back the tablet so we added very large stop signs in the survey to signal the patient to stop and hand back the tablet when they are finished with each part.

Tablets, technology, and time to go!

We just received IRB approval and the two tablets where the survey and video will be housed! They are sleek silver and black Microsoft Surface Pro 4’s with sturdy cases to protect them from falls.  We also are finalizing the survey on RedCap, the hospital’s HIPAA compliant secure survey system.  We are asking our first patient to participate this afternoon!

This is the final week of making the educational materials for the research project!  The patients who are willing to participate will be split into two groups, one will receive the pamphlet that all patients receive prior to the biopsy, and the other group will receive the educational video in addition to the pamphlet. I have made this video for the patients to watch before getting their breast biopsy.  The pamphlet is already made and being used to educate the patients (thus the pamphlet only group is the control group).  I predict those who receive both the pamphlet and video (the experimental group) will have less anxiety after reviewing the educational materials than those who only receive the pamphlets.

Meeting the Research Team

On Tuesday I met with Dr. David Swenson, Dr. Ana Lourenco, Mr. Baird Grayson, and Ms. Wendy Smith, the team I will be working with during my 8 weeks doing research.  We laid out a plan for me to shadow doctors administering breast biopsies during my first week here to get a good sense of what I want to include in the videos and pamphlets.  I shadowed Dr. Ana Lourenco on Wednesday and another radiologist on Thursday. Both times, while listening to the patient give informed consent I fainted.  Unfortunately, yesterday I fainted standing up and when I passed out I hit my head twice going down and now have a minor concussion.  I will be back to researching and making the video and pamphlets on Monday!


The purpose of the study is to determine if educating patients through educational material such as videos and pamphlets would decrease patient anxiety in the pre-procedural setting, such as prior to an image guided thyroid or breast biopsy in the radiology department of a busy academic medical center (the Outpatient Imaging Facility at Rhode Island Hospital).  We also seek to determine what  form of education might be the most effective.