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Original Article April 2005, Volume 19 Issue 4: 235-244

Effects of formal education for patients with inflammatory bowel disease: A randomized controlled trial

BM Waters | L Jensen | RN Fedorak

BACKGROUND: Patients with inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) suffer physical dysfunction and impaired quality of life (QOL), and need frequent health care. They often lack knowledge about their disease and desire more education. Educational interventions for other chronic diseases have demonstrated reduced health care use and increased knowledge, medication adherence and QOL.
METHOD: Sixty-nine participants were randomly assigned to formal IBD education and standard of care (pamphlets and ad hoc physician education) or standard of care alone. Assessment of IBD knowledge and QOL occurred at baseline, immediately posteducation and eight weeks posteducation. Participants documented medication adherence and health care use in diaries. Patient satisfaction was assessed at the end of the study.
RESULTS: The education group had higher knowledge scores (P=0.000), perceived knowledge ratings (P=0.01) and patient satisfaction (P=0.001). There was a lower rate of medication nonadherence and health care use for the education group, but the differences were not significant. QOL indices did not change. Significant correlations were found for increased health care use in patients with poorer medication adherence (P=0.01) and lower perceived health (P=0.05).
CONCLUSION: Formal IBD patient education improves knowledge, perceived knowledge and patient satisfaction. Further study of long-term effects may better demonstrate potential benefits for QOL, medication adherence and health care use.

Healthcare utilization | Inflammatory Bowel Disease | Medication adherence | Patient education | Patient satisfaction | Quality of life
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