Aims and objectives: To investigate the long-term effect of a nurse-led hospital-based patient education programme combining group and individual education for patients with chronic inflammatory polyarthritis.
Background: Patient education interventions have shown short-term effects, but few studies have investigated whether the effects are sustained for a longer period.
Design: Randomised controlled trial.
Methods: Patients with rheumatoid arthritis, psoriatic arthritis and unspecified polyarthritis were randomised to the intervention group (n = 71) or a waiting list (n = 70). Primary outcomes were as follows: Global Well-Being and the Arthritis Self-Efficacy Other Symptoms Subscale. Secondary outcomes were as follows: patient activation, physical and psychological health status, patients' educational needs and a Disease Activity Score (DAS28-3).
Results: The intervention group had a statistically significant higher global well-being than the controls after 12 months, mean change score 8·2 (95% CI, 1·6-14·8; p-value = 0·015), but not in the Arthritis Self-Efficacy Other Symptoms Subscale, mean change score 2·6 (95% CI, -1·8 to 7·1; p-value = 0·245). Within each group, analyses showed a statistically significant improvement in DAS28-3, mean change -0·3 (95% CI, -0·5 to -0·1; p-value = 0·001), in the intervention group from baseline to 12 months, but not in the controls. The controls had a statistically significant deterioration in the Arthritis Self-Efficacy Other Symptoms Subscale, mean change -5·0 (95% CI, -8·6 to -1·3; p-value = 0·008), Arthritis Impact Measurement Scales - 2 Social, mean change 0·3 (95% CI, 0·1-0·5; p-value = 0·008), and Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale total, mean change 1·4 (95% CI, 0·3-2·5; p-value = 0·013).
Conclusion: A combination of group and individual patient education has a long-term effect on patients' global well-being.
Relevance to clinical practice: Nurses should consider whether a combination of group and individual patient education for patients with chronic inflammatory polyarthritis is an alternative in their clinical practice. This combination is less time-consuming for the patients, and it includes the benefit of group learning in addition to focusing on patient's individual educational needs.
Keywords: chronic illness; coping; patient teaching; psychological well-being; randomised controlled trials; self-efficacy.
© 2013 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.