To evaluate the effects of a self-care promoting problem-based learning programme for people with rheumatic diseases in terms of health-related quality of life, empowerment, and self-care ability.
Individuals with rheumatoid arthritis express a great need for education and support in adapting to the disease, but the average qualities of studies about patient education interventions are not high. There is no evidence of long-term benefits of patient education.
Randomized controlled trial.
A randomized controlled design was selected with test at baseline, 1-week and 6-month post-interventions after completed the 1-year programme. The tests consisted of validity and reliability tested instruments. The participants were randomly assigned in spring 2009 to either the experimental group (n = 54) or the control group (n = 148). The programme was running alongside the standard care the participants received at a rheumatology unit. Parametric and non-parametric tests were used in the analyses.
The participants in the experimental group had statistically significant stronger empowerment after participation in the self-care promoting problem-based learning programme compared with the control group, at the 6-month post-intervention. Approximately, two-thirds of the participants in the experimental group stated that they had implemented lifestyle changes due to the programme.
The self-care promoting problem-based learning programme enabled people with rheumatic diseases to improve their empowerment compared with the control group. It is important to continue to develop problem-based learning in patient education to find the very best way to use this pedagogical method in rheumatology care.