Background Education programs are an effective complement to traditional medical treatment, giving people with rheumatoid arthritis (RA) the strategies necessary to make daily decisions to cope with the disease [1,2].
Objectives To assess the effectiveness of therapeutic education for patients with RA.
Methods 43 patients with RA were included. 23 RA patients participated in a education program, 20 received only drug therapy (control group). The education program consisted of 4 daily studies for 90 min. Effects of the program were evaluated after 6 months, comparatively to baseline, based on the following variables: Diseases Activity Score (DAS28), functional impairment (Health Assessment Questionnaire (HAQ)) and quality of life (Rheumatology Assessment Patient Index Data (RAPID3) by Multi-Dimensional HAQ (R798–NP2)).
Results 6 months after therapeutic education DAS28 decreased by 1,33±0,26 (4,46±1,52 vs. 3,13±0,89, p<0,05), HAQ – by 55,2% (1,65±0,83 vs. 0,74±0,45, ΔHAQ=0,91±0,54, p<0,01), RAPID3 – by 49,9% (11,95±7,89 vs. 5,99±2,12, ΔRAPID3=5,96±0,92, p<0,01). 6 months after participation in the educational program a good response to treatment by DAS28 criteria EULAR was observed more often (52,2% vs. 30,0% in the control group (p<0,05)), and the number of patients, reported about improvement in their health, increased at 8,5 times (p<0,01). After 6 months, there were statistically significant differences between groups for HAQ (p<0,05) and RAPID3 (p<0,05).
Conclusions This study showed that the educational program tailored to patient needs helps to control the diseases activity, increases quality of life and improves functional ability of rheumatoid arthritis patients.
Riemsma R.P., Kirwan J.R., Taal E. et al. Patient education for adults with rheumatoid arthritis. Cochrane Database Sys Rev 2003;2:CD003688.
Abourazzak F., El Mansouri L., Huchet D. et al. Long-term effects of therapeutic education for patients with rheumatoid arthritis. Joint, Bone, Spine: Revue du rhumatisme 2009;76(6):648–53.
Disclosure of Interest None Declared
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