A study evaluating the effect of Educational Needs Assessment Tool (ENAT) focused patient education, on health outcomes in patients with Rheumatoid Arthritis: Protocol of an ongoing study


Aims and objectives: To evaluate the effectiveness of a patient education tool (the ENAT) on self efficacy, patient knowledge, health outcomes and its usability in practice. Background: The effectiveness and value of patient education in rheumatoid arthritis have been questioned. The ENAT was developed to help the nurses to provide more focused, individualized and relevant education. The psychometric properties of the ENAT have been assessed. Design: This study is a single blind randomized controlled trial using both quantitative and qualitative methodology. The primary outcome is patient self efficacy. Secondary outcomes are physical function, psychological status, pain levels, social interaction and patient knowledge of disease. Methods: 130 RA patients will be randomized into an experimental (EG) or control group (CG). The EG patients will complete the ENAT prior to seeing a Clinical Nurse Specialist (CNS) at weeks 0, 16 and 32. The CNS will use the ENAT as a template to meet patients perceived educational needs in addition to the usual care. The CG will receive their usual care from the CNS without the aid of the ENAT. To determine the ENAT’s usability, semi-structured quailtative interviews will take place with the practitioners and a sample of patients once they have completed the quantitative arm of the study. Results: The study commenced in April 2011 and the results are expected to be available after April 2013. Conclusions: It is hypothesized that nurses’ use of the ENAT will lead to increased patient self efficacy, and improved patient knowledge and health outcomes among the patients who used it. Furthermore, it is hypothesized that the ENAT will be easy for staff and patients to use. Relevance to clinical practice: The ENAT was developed to assess the perceived educational needs of patients with rheumatoid arthritis and thus help the nurses to provide more focused, individualised and relevant education.

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Hardware, B. , Hale, C. , Johnson, D. , Hill, J. , Young, T. and Adebajo, A. (2013) A study evaluating the effect of Educational Needs Assessment Tool (ENAT) focused patient education, on health outcomes in patients with Rheumatoid Arthritis: Protocol of an ongoing study. Open Journal of Nursing, 3, 287-292. doi: 10.4236/ojn.2013.32039.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.


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