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Keywords:

  • patient education;
  • psychiatric hospital;
  • qualitative study

Accessible summary

  • • 
    A number of patient education programmes have been developed and implemented in psychiatric nursing care to support patients' information receiving. There is still a lack of knowledge about how patients themselves perceive patient education programmes when they have been used on psychiatric inpatient wards.
  • • 
    In this study, patients with schizophrenia or related disorders described how they perceived IT-based patient education, conventional patient education with leaflets or patient education according to standard care during their hospital stay. In addition, areas for improvement were identified.
  • • 
    Patients' perceptions of patient education varied depending on which patient education group they had participated in.
  • • 
    Structured and systematically conducted patient education programmes on psychiatric wards were reportedly useful. However, no simple educational method suits every patient and therefore a combination of different education methods should be used to meet patients' individual needs. Moreover, nurse–patient interaction is still an essential element of patient education whatever educational methods are used.

Abstract

This study describes patients' perceptions of different types of patient education interventions and areas where patient education should be improved on psychiatric wards. Thematic interviews were conducted with 16 patients who had completed the information technology (IT)-based patient education, conventional patient education with leaflets or patient education according to ward standards during their hospital stay. Data were analysed using inductive content analysis. Patients' perceptions of patient education varied depending on which patient education group they had participated in. Patients participating in IT-based or conventional patient education perceived education as a systematic and planned process. However, especially patients in the patient education group applying ward standard education perceived patient education as occasional information dissemination situations. To improve patient education, patients suggested that it should be based on their individual needs and offered with different methods systematically to all patients. The results indicate that patients find structured and systematic patient education programmes useful. Different educational methods should be used, not forgetting interaction between patient and nurse, which was reportedly as an essential element of patient education.