Patient education aims at supporting patients to take targeted action to make long-term health promoting changes. Education can support people in making informed decisions by valuing patient experiences and initiating a process of becoming empowered.
The purpose of NEED was to develop and evaluate methods for facilitating active participation and dialogue in group based patient education. As part of the project two health education models (The Balancing Person and The Health Education Juggler) and 24 dialogue tools have been developed. The models and tools serve to inspire and support health professionals in engendering person-centredness and active participation in group based patient education. The tools focus on stimulating reflection and dialogue about the challenges that the actual patients experience in relation to their life with chronic illness. The project has been conducted in three phases: 1. development of models and tools (2010-2011), 2. feasibility-test (2011-2012) and 3. effect evaluation (2013-2016). Different research methods and theories have been applied during to the three phases of the project. These include qualitative and quantitative methods as well as theories from health education, psychology and public health science.
Patient education has traditionally often been based on the health professional understanding of patients’ needs and challenges. This generates a risk of neglecting experiences, needs and challenges of importance to patients. Furthermore, literature within patient education and health promotion suggest a need for concrete methods to facilitate person-centredness and active involvement in individual and group based patient education.
The aims of the project were :
1. In collaboration with patients and health professionals to develop health education models and dialogue tools for patient education in chronic illness based on patient-perceived challenges
2. In collaboration with patients and health professionals to study the feasibility of health education models and dialogue tools for patient education in chronic illness
3. Evaluate the effects of the health education models and dialogue tools used in group based patient education in chronic illness (case type 2 diabetes).
Four municipalities in the Region of Southern Denmark contributed to the development of models and tools
49 patient education settings in Denmark participated in the feasibility study
14 patient education settings in Denmark participated in the evaluation study