, Volume 13, Issue 1, pp 81-89

Association between patient education and health-related quality of life in patients with Parkinson's disease

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Abstract

Background: Providing patients with disease- and treatment-related information is an important role of medical staff and is now reimbursed in Japan by the national health insurance system under the rubric ‘patient education’. Evaluation of the effectiveness of patient education programs is necessary to ensure that limited health care resources are used efficiently. Objective: The objective is to determine whether educating patients with Parkinson's disease (PD) is related to better health-related quality of life (HRQOL). Design: A cross-sectional study was conducted. Setting: Members of the Japan Association of Patients with Parkinson's disease were randomly selected. Participants: A total of 1200 patients with PD were asked to fill in written questionnaires and replies from 762 (63.5%) were analyzed. Measurements: The questionnaire inquired about clinical characteristics, comorbidity, symptoms of PD, complications of therapy, HRQOL, and patient education. SF-36 was used to assess HRQOL. The section on patient education comprised one question each on patient-perceived satisfaction with information provided on (1) disease condition and pathophysiology, (2) effectiveness of drug therapy, (3) adverse drug reactions, (4) publicly available financial and social resources, and (5) rehabilitation and daily activities. Patient education score was defined as the sum of the individual scores for these five questions. The relationships between scores on the SF-36 subscales and the patient education score were examined. Results: More satisfaction with patient education was associated with higher scores in all SF-36 subscales except physical functioning and bodily pain. The difference in score between the most satisfied and the least satisfied patients ranged from 8.4 points on the subscales of general health and 16.7 points on the subscale of role limitation due to emotional problems. Conclusion: The conclusion that patient education is associated with better HRQOL in patients with PD is drawn.