• end-stage renal failure;
  • patient education;
  • knowledge;
  • information

Predialysis education helps patients choose dialysis modality and increases disease-specific knowledge¶The aims of this study were first, to evaluate the effects of a patient-education programme for a group of 28 uraemic patients (the Experimental (EG) group) with regard to their knowledge and perceived amount of information and to relate these effects to their sense of coherence and secondly, to study the patients' perception of their dialysis treatment. The results were compared with a comparison group (the Companion (CG) group, = 28) which had received routine information only. The education programme seemed to have covered what the EG wanted to know. Significantly more patients in the EG group stated that they had acquired sufficient knowledge to enable them to participate in choosing dialysis modality compared with the CG group. The EG patients were significantly more informed in the post-educational evaluation compared with the pre-educational evaluation. In the EG, there was a significant relationship between the scores for knowledge and perceived amount of information. Men and younger patients perceived that they had received a greater amount of information than women and older patients. After having started dialysis treatment, there were no differences in the scores for knowledge and information between the EG and the CG. This indicates that other sources of knowledge and information were available to the CG patients. There was no significant correlation between the score of the Sense of Coherence (SOC) scale and the knowledge and information scores. Kidney transplantation, progression of renal failure, other patients' experiences of dialysis, dependence — independence, present and future wellbeing, how to cope with physical and psycho-social demands and continuity in their contacts with doctors and other health professionals were predominant concerns for the two groups of patients. Conclusion: the predialysis group education programme enabled patients to choose dialysis modality to achieve an understanding of their illness and its treatment. It also provided the possibility of informal support by fellow patients and health professionals. The study emphasizes the special needs of elderly patients and we recommend that education programmes are tailored to their requirements.