Background and Context:
Celebrity announcements about illness, including cancer, provide an opportunity to quickly connect to the public with timely and accurate health information. When actress Angelina Jolie revealed her status as a BRCA 1 gene mutation carrier in May 2013, calls to Cancer Council Victoria’s Helpline regarding breast cancer risk increased by 1033%. In response to this community concern Cancer Council Victoria (CCV) held a public webinar.
To use a webinar as an innovative approach to address an increased demand for accurate information and support regarding breast cancer risk, detection and prevention.
Registrants were invited to participate in surveys before and after the webinar. The pre-webinar survey identified the concerns and information needs of respondents in order to guide content. The post webinar survey evaluated the effectiveness of the webinar.
A free, one-hour, public webinar was hosted by CCV in June 2013. The webinar employed mixed presentation techniques, power point slides delivered by a Cancer Genetic Counsellor and an interactive question and answer session.
Outcomes/What was learned:
In all, 512 individuals pre-registered with 205 (40%) attending the live webinar. A total of 155 (30%) registrants submitted pre-webinar questions or topic suggestions with 82 (85%) respondents stating that the option to pre-submit was a ‘good’ or ‘excellent’ opportunity. Eight-five respondents (90%) stated that the webinar was ‘useful to their situation’.
Ninety six (98%) respondents confirmed that the Cancer Genetic Counsellor’s knowledge was ‘good’ or ‘excellent’.
The mode of delivery was considered ‘good’ or ‘excellent’ by 87 (91%) of the respondents.
The survey results suggest that the use of webinars can effectively address the need for accurate information and support. Ninety-three (94%) respondents confirmed they would participate in another webinar. CCV will host further webinars and continue researching their impact.