Aims and objectives: This study compared the pre-admission education received by two groups of rheumatoid arthritis (RA) patients scheduled for hip arthroplasty. The specific aim was to compare these patients' knowledge about care-related issues and sense of certainty about that knowledge, empowering learning experience, length of admission discussion, length of hospital stay and number of health problems.
Background: Previous studies have shown that surgical pre-admission education is beneficial, but there is no evidence on the relative effectiveness of different methods of education.
Design: We used a pre-post-test design with two groups of surgical RA patients (Group I pre-admission education via telephone and standard written educational material, n = 29; Group II standard written educational material, n = 30).
Methods: The data were collected with previously used instruments (OPKQ, MEQ), and demographic and clinical variables were asked.
Results: The mean score for knowledge about care-related issues and sense of certainty about that knowledge for Group I and for Group II showed no statistically significant differences at baseline and at admission. At discharge, however, a significant difference was seen between the scores--in favour of Group II. On the other hand, patients in Group I were found to be more empowered in all areas than patients in Group II.
Conclusions: Written educational material seems to be a good choice for pre-admission patient education compared with telephone counselling, particularly when patients are knowledgeable about care-related issues before admission. However, education via telephone is experienced by patients as more empowering than written educational material.
Relevance to clinical practice: To increase patient's knowledge written educational material can be recommended for use, but to increase patient's empowerment telephone education is better.
© 2010 Blackwell Publishing Ltd.