October 2001

Grant Results

SUMMARY

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, Ph.D., 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.

Key Findings

  • 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.

Key Results
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.

Funding
The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) supported the project with a grant of $49,803 between July 1999 and July 2000.

 See Grant Detail & Contact Information
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THE PROBLEM

Although research indicates that a patient's psychological state can affect the body's ability to fight disease, emotional support from busy health professionals is often lacking.

Two breast cancer survivors — Lucie A. DiMaggio, M.D., and Miriam C. Dow — formed Medical Media Associates in 1998 to develop this video and possibly future media products.

The team assembled a National Review Board of physicians, a psychologist, and a nurse from cities and cancer centers across the United States to advise the organization on the project and review its products. (See Appendix for further details.)

"Woman to Woman: A Video Series for Breast Cancer Patients" is a project intended to provide psychosocial support as well as medical information for breast cancer patients. Medical Media Associates produced the series.

By mid-1999, Medical Media Associates had completed a roughcut taping and editing of the first video, Initial Discovery and Diagnosis of Breast Cancer.

Project staff had also completed a small resource guide that fits into a pocket on the video case. The RWJF grant contributed to further production and evaluation of the video as a model for the series.

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THE PROJECT

Medical Media Associates contracted with Robin Graham, Ph.D., 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 of the first video.

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 and 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.

Other Funding

Other funding for the video series totaled $286,912 as of June 2000, including $75,000 from the John R. Oishei Foundation.

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FINDINGS AND RECOMMENDATIONS

  • 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.

Results

  • Medical Media Associate edited the video further in response to the evaluation and recommendations.
  • Seven women appear in the 15-minute film, in their own homes, telling their stories. Their voices are the only ones heard on the tape, and they relay their experiences with the following aspects of breast cancer:
    • Discovery: Women describe their reactions and emotions after hearing the diagnosis.
    • The Doctor: Women discuss the need to ask questions and the value of seeking a second opinion.
    • Treatment: Women recommend asking the doctor to outline a timetable for treatment, so that it is clear how quickly decisions must be made.
    • Looking Back: Women discuss what has changed or remained the same in their lives, including their self-image, femininity, and sexuality.
    • The Future: Women share their hopes, goals, and changes in their approach to life.
  • Three Buffalo television stations covered a January 18, 2000, news conference on the release of the video, and approximately 350 people attended the January 19, 2000, premier screening. Articles also appeared in the Buffalo News.
  • Project staff also established a Web site, which contains information about the video series project, links to other breast cancer resources, and a form for ordering videos.
  • Project staff published a newsletter, distributed it to approximately 650 individuals and organizations, and posted excerpts on the Web site.
  • Staff produced 5,000 copies of the final videotape and had distributed 527 as of December 2000; 133 were purchased from the Web site.
  • Univera, a Buffalo, N.Y., health maintenance organization, included an article about the video in its physician newsletter, sent to approximately 2,000 physicians in the region, and bought 15 videos to distribute free to physicians requesting a copy.
  • Project staff also sent 61 videos; public relations kits, including fact sheets; and follow-up letters to 36 cancer centers, including the Mayo Clinic and the Johns Hopkins Oncology Center.
  • Columbia Medical School in New York included the video in its spring 2000 curriculum for second-year medical students. Staff distributed 28 videos to New York State legislators.

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AFTER THE GRANT

Medical Media Associates, Inc., plans to produce eight more videos in the series, covering the topics of:

  • Family support.
  • Intimacy.
  • Recurrence.
  • Life after breast cancer.
  • Chemotherapy.
  • Drug treatment.
  • Surgical choices.
  • Radiation therapy.

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GRANT DETAILS & CONTACT INFORMATION

Project

Woman to Woman: A Video Series for Breast Cancer Patients

Grantee

Medical Media Associates, Inc. (Buffalo,  NY)

  • Amount: $ 49,803
    Dates: July 1999 to July 2000
    ID#:  037216

Contact

Miriam C. Dow
(716) 873-3689
mcdbuf@aol.com

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APPENDICES


Appendix 1

(Current as of the time of the grant; provided by the grantee organization; not verified by RWJF.)

Woman to Woman National Review Board

Mary E. Costanza, M.D.
Professor of Medicine
Division of Hematology/Oncology
University of Massachusetts at Worchester Medical School
Worchester, Mass.

Rosa E. Cuenca, M.D.
Assistant Professor of Surgery
Division of Surgical Oncology
School of Medicine
East Carolina University
Greenville, N.C.

Alison Estabrook, M.D.
Chief of Breast Surgery
St. Luke's/Roosevelt Hospital
Professor of Clinical Surgery
Columbia University
New York, N.Y.

Barbara Rabinowitz, Ph.D.
Vice President for Oncology
Saint Barnabas Health Care System
Livingston, N.J.

S. Eva Singletary, M.D., F.A.C.S.
Chief, Surgical Breast Service
MD Anderson Cancer Center
University of Texas
Houston, Texas

Lynn Thompson, R.N., M.P.H.
Gillette Center for Women's Cancers
Dana Farber Cancer Institute
Boston, Mass.

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BIBLIOGRAPHY

(Current as of date of this report; as provided by grantee organization; not verified by RWJF; items not available from RWJF.)

Books and Reports

Graham RP, Shipengrover J, Young BL, Tumiel L, and Schieder J. Breast Cancer Diagnosis: What Should We Say and How? Buffalo, N.Y.: University of Buffalo Center for Health Assessment and Evaluation, August 2000.

Brochures and Fact Sheets

"Resource Guide, Woman to Woman Video Series, Tape 1: Initial Discovery and Diagnosis of Breast Cancer." Medical Media Associates, Inc., Buffalo, N.Y., January 2000.

Fact sheet with general information about the Woman to Woman video series project. Medical Media Associates, Inc., Buffalo, N.Y.

"Why Woman to Woman." Fact sheet on the purpose of the Woman to Woman video project. Medical Media Associates, Inc., Buffalo, N.Y.

"Kudos for Woman to Woman." Fact sheet with eight reviews by professionals in the cancer field. Medical Media Associates, Inc. Buffalo, N.Y.

"About the Project." Fact sheet describing the history and purpose of the video series project. Medical Media Associates, Inc., Buffalo, N.Y.

"About the First Video: Initial Discovery and Diagnosis." Fact sheet with a synopsis of the video. Medical Media Associates, Inc., Buffalo, N.Y.

Fact sheets on the two founders of Medical Media Associates and the Woman to Woman project, Lucie A. DiMaggio, MD, and Miriam C. Dow, project director. Medical Media Associates, Inc., Buffalo, N.Y.

Fact sheet giving information about the Woman to Woman Web site. Medical Media Associates, Inc., Buffalo, N.Y.

Newsletters

Woman to Woman: A Video Series for Breast Cancer Patients. Buffalo, N.Y.: Medical Media Associates. Issued occasionally, twice during the grant period. Approximately 650 disseminated; available online.

Survey Instruments

"Medical Media Associates Production Test Evaluation Survey," administered to Woman to Woman National Review Board members and the Board of Directors of Medical Media Associates. University of Buffalo Center for Health Assessment and Evaluation (UB CHASE), July 12, 1999.

World Wide Web Sites

www.womenstories.org offers information about the Woman to Woman video series, excerpts from the organization's newsletters, articles from the press, photographs of women on the first video and excerpts from their comments, and links to other resources. Buffalo, N.Y.: Medical Media Associates. January 2000. Over 50,000 visits during the first five months. 133 copies of Initial Discovery and Diagnosis of Breast Cancer ordered from this site as of December 2000.

Audio-Visuals and Computer Software

Woman to Woman: Initial Discovery and Diagnosis of Breast Cancer, presents seven breast cancer survivors speaking about a range of experiences from first hearing the diagnosis to surviving and looking ahead to the future. Buffalo, N.Y.: Medical Media Associates, Inc., January 2000. As of December 2000, 527 copies distributed.

Press Kits and News Releases

A public relations kit with information about the Woman to Woman video project, including a copy of the first video, Initial Discovery and Diagnosis of Breast Cancer, mailed August 2000 to 61 cancer centers.

Print Coverage

"After Diagnosis, Survivors' Stories Ease the Shock," in the Buffalo News, January 25, 2000.

"Video: More Installments Are Waiting Funding," in the Buffalo News, January 25, 2000.

"Health First," in Business First of Buffalo, February 14, 2000.

"New Video Series by Breast Cancer Survivors," in CancerCare News, May/June/July/August 2000.

"Informational Video Available to Breast Cancer Patients," in Univera Healthcare Examiner, July 2000.

"Woman to Woman," in 2000/2001 National Alliance of Breast Cancer Organizations Resource List. Buffalo, N.Y.: National Alliance of Breast Cancer Organizations.

Television Coverage

"Good Morning Western New York," interview with Woman to Woman board members about the video series, WKBW-TV, mid-January 2000.

"First at Five," interview with Woman to Woman board members about the video series, WGRZ-TV, January 25, 2000.

"Live at 5," interview with Woman to Woman board members about the video series, WKBW-TV, January 25, 2000.

"News 4 at 5," interview with Woman to Woman board members about the video series, WIVB-TV, January 25, 2000.

"Human Touch," interview with Woman to Woman board members about the video series, Adelphia, eight airings during February 2000.

"Speak Up," interview with Woman to Woman board members about the video series, Adelphia, 12 airings during February 2000.

"AM Buffalo," interview with Woman to Woman board members about the video series, WKBW-TV, February 3, 2000.

"By the People," interview with Woman to Woman board members about the video series, WIVB-TV, February 13, 2000.

Radio Coverage

"Buffalo's Early News," interview with Woman to Woman board members about the video series, WBEN-AM, mid-January 2000.

"The Sandy Beach Show," interview with Woman to Woman board members about the video series, WBEN-AM, mid-January 2000.

"Breakfast with Banerie," interview with Woman to Woman board members about the video series, WGR-AM, aired several times, January 25, 2000.

Story on Woman to Woman debut screening, WBEN-AM, aired several times, January 25, 2000.

Story on Woman to Woman screening debut, WBFO-FM, aired several times, January 25, 2000.

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Report prepared by: Jan Hempel
Reviewed by: Robert Narus
Reviewed by: Richard Camer
Program Officer: Nancy J. Kaufman