Randomised trial of a computer-generated tailored written education package for patients following stroke

Age Ageing. 2007 May;36(3):280-6. doi: 10.1093/ageing/afm003. Epub 2007 Mar 14.


Background: The ideal method of providing stroke patients with information has not been established.

Objectives: To evaluate the effectiveness of providing stroke patients with computer-generated tailored written information.

Design: Randomised controlled trial with blinded assessor.

Setting: Acute stroke unit.

Participants: 138 stroke patients.

Methods: Patients were randomised to receive either computer-generated tailored written information about stroke or generic written information while in hospital. Three months following discharge, a blinded assessor evaluated the outcomes of knowledge about stroke, self-efficacy (Self-Efficacy to Perform Self-Management Behaviours Scale), anxiety and depression (Hospital Anxiety and Depression (HAD) Scale), perceived health status (COOP charts), satisfaction with content and presentation of the written information received (separate 10-point visual analogue scale for content and presentation), and desire for additional information.

Results: Complete data were obtained for 133 (96.4%) patients. Patients in the intervention group were significantly more satisfied with the content (difference on a 10-point visual analogue scale was 1, 95% confidence interval 0.4 to 1.7, P = 0.003) and presentation (difference on a 10-point visual analogue scale was 1.2, 95% confidence interval 0.6 to 1.9, P < 0.001). Significantly, fewer patients in the intervention group desired additional information about stroke at follow-up than patients in the control group (4.5% versus 32.8%; P < 0.001). Anxiety change scores improved slightly more in favour of the control group (1.4 difference on the HAD subscale, 95% confidence interval 0.2 to 2.8, P = 0.03). No significant differences between the groups were observed for any of the other outcome measures.

Interpretation: Providing stroke patients with computer-generated tailored written information improved satisfaction with the information that was received and was more effective in meeting patients' informational needs than non-tailored information, but had no effect on knowledge about stroke, self-efficacy, depression, or perceived health status.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Communication
  • Computers*
  • Female
  • Health Knowledge, Attitudes, Practice*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Nurse-Patient Relations
  • Pamphlets
  • Patient Education as Topic / methods*
  • Patient Satisfaction* / statistics & numerical data
  • Queensland / epidemiology
  • Stroke / epidemiology
  • Stroke / therapy*
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Treatment Outcome