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.
Copyright © 2011 Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.