Patients' confidence in coping with arthritis after nurse-led education; a qualitative study

BMC Nurs. 2016 May 4;15:28. doi: 10.1186/s12912-016-0150-x. eCollection 2016.


Background: The aim of this study was to explore how patients with chronic inflammatory polyarthritis described coping with their disease after a nurse-led patient education program and compare these experiences to patients in a control group who did not receive any education.

Methods: This was a qualitative study nested within a randomized controlled trial (RCT) investigating the effect of nurse-led patient education for patients with chronic inflammatory polyarthritis. Twenty-six individual face-to-face interviews, 15 in the intervention group and 11 in the control group were conducted approximately two months after the educational program. The same opening question; «Can you please tell me how you have been these last four months, since last time we spoke», followed by questions about the informants' experiences of coping with disease-related challenges, disease activity changes, coping with disease activity changes, the informants' perceptions of good and challenging situations to be in were asked to all informants.

Results: Informants who attended the educational program expressed a strengthened confidence in coping with the consequences of having arthritis, which made them feel good. The strengthened confidence was attributed to sharing experiences with other participants in the group and learning something new. Informants in the intervention group further linked their confidence to 1) coping with disease fluctuations, 2) changed health behaviours and 3) knowledge about medications.

Conclusions: Patients taking part in nurse-led patient education described a strengthened confidence in coping with their arthritis stemming from sharing experiences with other patients and learning something new.

Trial registration: The RCT was registered in (NCT00623922) in February 2008.

Associated data