Randomized Controlled Trial of Patient Education Tools for Patients With Rheumatoid Arthritis

Arthritis Care Res (Hoboken). 2021 Oct;73(10):1470-1478. doi: 10.1002/acr.24362. Epub 2021 Aug 31.


Objective: The present study was undertaken to evaluate the efficacy of 2 educational tools for patients with rheumatoid arthritis (RA) by comparing a newly developed video tool, including storylines and testimonials, combined with a written booklet to the same written booklet alone.

Methods: We conducted a randomized controlled trial. Our primary outcome was disease knowledge. Secondary outcomes were decisional conflict, self-efficacy, effective health care management, and satisfaction. Outcomes were measured before and after reviewing the materials, and 3 and 6 months later. Linear mixed-effects models were performed to evaluate changes over time.

Results: In total, 221 participants received an educational video and booklet (n = 111) or a booklet alone (n = 110). The mean age was 50.8 years, mean disease duration was 4.8 years, 85% were female, and 24% had limited health literacy levels. Within groups, most outcomes improved between baseline and follow-up, but there were no statistically significant differences across groups. Patients receiving the video and booklet were more likely than those receiving the booklet alone to rate the presentation as excellent for providing information about the impact of RA, medication options, evidence about medications, benefits of medication, and self-care options. Factors significantly associated with greater improvements in knowledge and decisional conflict from baseline to 6 months included limited health literacy, lower educational level, and shorter disease duration.

Conclusion: Regardless of the delivery method, outcomes were improved up to 6 months after educational materials were delivered. Our findings support the implementation of self-administered educational materials in clinical settings, as they can result in sustained improvements in disease knowledge and decisional conflict.

Trial registration: ClinicalTrials.gov NCT01698762.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Arthritis, Rheumatoid / diagnosis
  • Arthritis, Rheumatoid / therapy*
  • Conflict, Psychological
  • Decision Making
  • Female
  • Health Knowledge, Attitudes, Practice
  • Health Literacy
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Pamphlets*
  • Patient Education as Topic*
  • Patient Satisfaction
  • Self Care*
  • Self Efficacy
  • Texas
  • Time Factors
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Video Recording*

Associated data

  • ClinicalTrials.gov/NCT01698762