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

Patient Educ Couns. 2012 Jul;88(1):113-20. doi: 10.1016/j.pec.2011.12.011. Epub 2012 Jan 23.


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.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Arthritis, Rheumatoid / psychology*
  • Arthritis, Rheumatoid / therapy
  • Female
  • Health Status
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Norway
  • Outpatients
  • Patient Education as Topic* / methods
  • Program Development
  • Quality of Life
  • Self Care*
  • Self Efficacy*
  • Self-Help Groups*
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Treatment Outcome