Starting in July 1999, Medical Media Associates, Buffalo, N.Y., developed and evaluated the first of a series of videos for breast cancer patients: "Woman to Woman: A Video Series for Breast Cancer Patients." The videos were intended to provide psychosocial support as well as medical information.
Medical Media Associates contracted with Robin Graham, PhD, director of the Center for Health Assessment and Evaluation at the State University of New York at Buffalo, to conduct an evaluation of the rough cut.
In July and August 1999, Graham and her colleagues surveyed the Medical Media Associates board of directors and members of the project's National Review Board. They conducted three focus groups in Buffalo, N.Y., with a group of minority breast cancer survivors, a mixed group of breast cancer survivors, and medical professionals.
In a report on the survey and focus group results, the evaluation team said the video was "highly successful" in portraying the voices of breast cancer survivors and in conveying messages of support and guidance for women newly diagnosed with breast cancer.
Among the team's recommendations:
- Increase the number of minority and younger women depicted.
- Clarify certain statements that may be misleading, such as the need for urgency in making decisions about treatment.
- Be less prescriptive in offering advice about how to cope—acknowledging the difficulty that women face in denying a perceived "death sentence" and portraying women in various stages of coping following diagnosis.
Medical Media Associates edited the video further in response to the evaluation and recommendations.
It released the 15-minute video on January 18, 2000. Approximately 350 people attended the release of the video.