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vol. 54
Original paper

Comparative analysis of educational needs of patients with rheumatic diseases selected based on the Polish version of the Educational Needs Assessment Tool (Pol-ENAT)

Matylda Sierakowska
Stanisław Sierakowski
Justyna Sierakowska
Elżbieta Krajewska-Kułak

Reumatologia 2016; 54, 4: 153–160
Online publish date: 2016/10/05
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Objectives: Chronic rheumatic diseases, which have a progressive course, lead to large deficits in physical, mental and social functioning. In the process of the planned and systematic education of patients/families, it is extremely important to identify patients’ health problems as well as their needs and expectations. Study objectives: To assess the learning needs of patients with rheumatoid arthritis (RA) and systemic sclerosis (SSc).

Material and methods: This was a multicenter, cross-sectional study conducted in seven rheumatology centers in Poland. Health problems were defined as disability (HAQ-DI), pain (Pain VAS), fatigue (Fatigue VAS) and severity of disease (0–100). The educational needs were measured using the Pol-ENAT (0–156). Statistical analysis was performed using PQStat v.1.4.2 and Excel.

Results: The study involved 277 patients with rheumatoid arthritis and 140 with systemic sclerosis. The average age of respondents was comparable in RA (53.3 ±13.0 years) and SSc (54.1 ±14.2 years). Patients suffered from RA on average for 13.7 ±10.6 years and from SSc for 10.9 ±10.3 years. With age and duration of disease, the health problems worsened (p < 0.05). The reported needs of education (Pol-ENAT) were generally at the secondary level – RA 66.4 ±29.3 – younger people (p = 0.008) and those with early RA (r = –0.151, p = 0.011); SSc 71.5 ±27.7 – regardless of age and duration of SSc. Educational needs of patients with SSc correlated with the severity of certain health problems and health evaluation (pain r = 0.334, p < 0.001; fatigue r = 0.243, p = 0.004; severity of disease r = 0.242, p = 0.004 and disability r = 0.291, p < 0.001).

Conclusions: All patients reported the need for education, although it was slightly higher in patients with SSc. There was a decline in interest in education with progressive disability in RA, while in SSc interest in education increased with the progress and severity of the disease.

rheumatoid arthritis, systemic sclerosis, health problems, educational needs

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