The effect of an educational programme consisting of group and individual arthritis education for patients with polyarthritis—a randomised controlled trial

Kjersti Grønning, Johan F Skomsvoll, Toril Rannestad, Aslak Steinsbekk
Patient Education and Counseling 2012, 88 (1): 113-20

OBJECTIVE: The aim of this study was to investigate the effect of an educational programme for patients with polyarthritis compared to usual care.

METHODS: Patients with rheumatoid arthritis, psoriatic arthritis and unspecified polyarthritis were randomised to the intervention (n=71) or usual care (n=70). The intervention consisted of three group educational sessions followed by one individual educational session. The primary outcomes were a patient's global well-being and arthritis self-efficacy. Secondary outcomes were patient activation, physical and psychological health status, educational needs and disease activity.

RESULTS: After four months the intervention group had significantly better global well-being, 95% CI (2.3-14.1), p=0.01, and self-efficacy, 95% CI (0.2-8.1), p=0.04, than the control group. There were also trends for improved disease activity, and a statistically significant improvement in patient activation and pain in the intervention group.

CONCLUSION: This patient educational programme consisting of group sessions and nurse-delivered individual education has statistically significant benefits for global well-being and maintaining a level of self-efficacy in managing other symptoms in patients with polyarthritis.

PRACTICE IMPLICATIONS: This educational programme allows patients to learn from each other in addition to addressing individual educational needs.

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