View Record

TitlePatient education : the effect on patient behaviour
AuthorShiri, C.
SubjectSubjects to be assigned
AbstractEvidence suggests that the prevalence of certain non-communicable diseases, such as hypertension, is increasing rapidly, and that patients with these diseases are making significant demands on the health services of the nations in sub-Saharan Africa. However, these countries also face other health-related challenges such as communicable diseases and underdevelopmentrelated diseases. Developing countries like South Africa have limited resources, in terms of man power and financial capital, to address the challenges that they are facing. Non-communicable diseases cannot be ignored and since health care providers cannot meet the challenges, it is worthwhile to empower patients to be involved in the management of their conditions. Patient education is a tool that can be used to enable patients to manage their chronic conditions and thereby reduce the morbidity and mortality rates of these conditions. The aim of this study was to investigate the effect of a patient education intervention on participants’ levels of knowledge about hypertension and its therapy, beliefs about medicines and adherence to anti-hypertensive therapy. The intervention consisted of talks and discussions with all the participants as one group and as individuals. There was also written information given to the participants. Their levels of knowledge about hypertension and its therapy were measured using one-on-one interviews and self-administered questionnaires. Beliefs about medicines were measured using the Beliefs about Medicines Questionnaire (BMQ) whilst adherence levels were measured using pill counts, elf-reports and prescription refill records. The participants’ blood pressure readings and body mass indices were also recorded throughout the study. The parameters before and after the educational intervention were compared using statistical analyses. The participants’ levels of knowledge about hypertension and its therapy significantly increased whilst their beliefs about medicines were positively modified after the educational intervention. There were also increases, though not statistically significant, in the participants’ levels of adherence to anti-hypertensive therapy. Unexpectedly, the blood pressure readings and body mass indices increased significantly. The participants gave positive feedback regarding the educational intervention and indicated a desire for similar programmes to be run continuously. They also suggested that such programmes be implemented for other common chronic conditions such as asthma and diabetes. This study proved that patient education programmes can be implemented to modify patients’ levels of knowledge about their conditions and the therapy, beliefs about medicines and adherence to therapy. However, such programmes need to be conducted over a long period of time since changes involving behaviour take a long time.
Identifier Shiri, C. (2007) Patient education : the effect on patient behaviour. Masters thesis, Rhodes University.