Post-thrombotic syndrome patient education based on the health belief model: self-reported intention to comply with recommendations

J Wound Ostomy Continence Nurs. Nov-Dec 2011;38(6):648-54. doi: 10.1097/WON.0b013e31822efc86.


Purpose: This study was designed to evaluate patient responses to a patient education handout on post-thrombotic syndrome prevention based on the Health Belief Model.

Design: This quasi-experimental pilot study involved a patient survey to be completed after reviewing a patient education handout.

Participants and setting: A convenience sample of 25 patients with deep vein thrombosis confirmed by venous Doppler assessment with a lower extremity deep vein thrombosis admitted to a Midwestern community hospital was identified. Seven patients were excluded and 5 declined participation; 13 completed the survey patients. Subjects were older than 18 years and able to read and understand English. Patients with hospice or palliative care service or life expectancy less than 6 months were excluded.

Methods: Subjects were provided with the post-thrombotic syndrome (PTS), patient education handout, and the PTS patient education survey. The PTS patient education handout consisted of a 1-page informational sheet based on PTS and Health Belief Model literature. The 24-item PTS Patient Education Survey required approximately 15 minutes to complete; items included demographic information, questions regarding previous deep vein thrombosis and Likert scale opinion statements regarding PTS based on Health Belief Model components. Patients meeting inclusion criteria were approached by the investigator, invited to participate in the study, and offered the option of having the investigator collect the survey or return in an addressed, stamped envelope.

Results: Respondents tended to agree that PTS was a serious condition and that it would negatively affect their life, primarily in relation to comfort and the ability to engage in leisure activities. Ten participants (76.9%) acknowledged that they were susceptible to PTS, and that elastic graduated compression stockings were effective. The most commonly cited barrier to wearing the stockings was difficulty with application. Five patients (38.5%) agreed that they had the ability to prevent PTS and 9 (69.2%) indicated that they intended to wear the stockings.

Conclusions: Patient education for post-thrombotic syndrome prevention based on the Health Belief Model resulted in self-reported intention to comply with recommendations to wear graduated elastic compression stockings. Compliance may be enhanced by specifically addressing individual risk factors and barriers to stocking application.

MeSH terms

  • Data Collection
  • Humans
  • Models, Psychological
  • Patient Compliance*
  • Patient Education as Topic*
  • Patients / psychology*
  • Pilot Projects
  • Postthrombotic Syndrome / prevention & control*
  • Self Report