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Patient education 

Patient education
Patient education
Oxford Textbook of Rheumatology (4 ed.)

David Walker

and Ben Thompson


Patient education is an essential component of the management of musculoskeletal disorders. However, despite clear guidance that health professionals should be providing education for patients, uncertainty remains about the optimum strategies which should be adopted—exactly what, when and how education should be offered to patients—as well the effect education has on patients. Like any intervention, evidence is needed to show that education is effective, and to justify the resources required for its production and delivery. Yet education is a complex intervention, and studying its effect is challenging. This chapter focuses on these debates, reviewing current evidence regarding methods of delivering education, the timing and content of education, and how education is evaluated. Finally, it makes practical suggestions about improving the quality of patient education in the future.

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