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Canadian Journal of Gastroenterology
Volume 19 (2005), Issue 4, Pages 235-244
Original Article

Effects of Formal Education for Patients with Inflammatory Bowel Disease: A Randomized Controlled Trial

Barbara M Waters,1 Louise Jensen,1 and Richard N Fedorak2

1Faculty of Nursing, University of Alberta, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada
2Division of Gastroenterology, Faculty of Medicine, University of Alberta, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada

Received 29 July 2004; Accepted 3 January 2005

Copyright © 2005 Hindawi Publishing Corporation. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


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.