Patient understanding of liver cirrhosis and improvement using multimedia education

Goldsworthy, Matthew A, Fateen, Waleed, Thygesen, Helene, Aldersley, Mark A, Rowe, Ian A and Jones, Rebecca L (2017) Patient understanding of liver cirrhosis and improvement using multimedia education. Frontline Gastroenterology . ISSN 2041-4137

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Objective For patients to engage with the long-term management of liver cirrhosis, sufficient understanding of their condition is essential. The aim of this study was to assess baseline patient knowledge and to test whether a condition-specific multimedia screencast could improve this.

Design Service quality improvement study.

Setting A UK tertiary liver centre. Patients were recruited during 12 general hepatology outpatient clinics.

Patients Fifty-two patients with liver cirrhosis were included. Sixty-two per cent were male; their median age was 56 years and their median clinic attendance period was 3 years.

Interventions Participants completed a baseline questionnaire assessing their knowledge of the management and complications of cirrhosis. They then watched a tailored screencast discussing this condition, which had been developed by expert hepatologists in collaboration with patient representatives. Knowledge was reassessed using a new copy of the original questionnaire after an interval of at least one month.

Main outcome measures Patient scores on knowledge questionnaires at baseline and follow-up.

Results Fifty-two patients achieved a median score of 25.0% before viewing the screencast. Thirty-five patients then completed a follow-up questionnaire after an interval period. The median questionnaire score in this group improved from 25.0% to 66.7%; an increase of 41.7% compared with baseline (p<0.001).

Conclusions Despite regular review at a specialist clinic, participants had poor baseline knowledge of liver cirrhosis. Delivering information by screencast led to a significant improvement. We therefore present an effective way to empower patients with accurate, up-to-date and retainable information that can easily be translated to many other conditions.

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