A longitudinal study of educational needs among patients with inflammatory arthritis
Journal article, Peer reviewed
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Original versionMusculoskeletal Care. 2021, 1-7. 10.1002/msc.1575
Introduction Patient education is important in the follow-up and disease management for patients with chronic inflammatory arthritis. Patients’ needs for education and information varies, and it is important that the education is tailored to the individual patient. Hence, the aim of this study is to investigate whether patients’ educational needs change over time, and which demographic, disease-related or self-management characteristics that are associated with patients’ educational needs. Methods The Mann–Whitney U-test was used to study patients’ longitudinal educational needs and whether their needs change over time, while multivariable linear regression analyses were used to investigate associations between patients’ educational needs and demographic variables, disease-related and self-management characteristics. Results There were no changes in patients’ educational needs in the domains of managing pain, movement, feelings, arthritis process and treatment from health professionals during the study period of seven years. A small decrease in educational needs in the domains self-help measures (p-value 0.047) and support from others (p-value 0.010) was detected. The regression analyses showed that higher educational needs were associated with being female, lower educational level, shorter disease duration, and a lower level of patient activation. Conclusions Patients with chronic inflammatory arthritis have continual needs for patient education throughout their disease trajectory. Nurses and health care professionals must therefore ask their patients what kind of education they need at every follow-up throughout the disease course.