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Keywords:

  • counselling;
  • orthopaedics;
  • patient information;
  • patient teaching;
  • rheumatology;
  • surgical nursing

Aims and objectives.  This study compared the pre-admission education received by two groups of rheumatoid arthritis (RA) patients scheduled for hip arthroplasty. The specific aim was to compare these patients’ knowledge about care-related issues and sense of certainty about that knowledge, empowering learning experience, length of admission discussion, length of hospital stay and number of health problems.

Background.  Previous studies have shown that surgical pre-admission education is beneficial, but there is no evidence on the relative effectiveness of different methods of education.

Design.  We used a pre–post-test design with two groups of surgical RA patients (Group I pre-admission education via telephone and standard written educational material, n = 29; Group II standard written educational material, n = 30).

Methods.  The data were collected with previously used instruments (OPKQ, MEQ), and demographic and clinical variables were asked.

Results.  The mean score for knowledge about care-related issues and sense of certainty about that knowledge for Group I and for Group II showed no statistically significant differences at baseline and at admission. At discharge, however, a significant difference was seen between the scores – in favour of Group II. On the other hand, patients in Group I were found to be more empowered in all areas than patients in Group II.

Conclusions.  Written educational material seems to be a good choice for pre-admission patient education compared with telephone counselling, particularly when patients are knowledgeable about care-related issues before admission. However, education via telephone is experienced by patients as more empowering than written educational material.

Relevance to clinical practice.  To increase patient’s knowledge written educational material can be recommended for use, but to increase patient’s empowerment telephone education is better.