Treatment of osteoporosis. The psychological impact of a medical education program on older patients.
Participants in a therapeutic program for osteoporosis were studied to determine if program participation improved psychological outcomes. The 4-day program included intensive education about the disease and its prognosis, physical therapy education, nutritional counseling, and medical evaluation and treatment. All therapeutic patients enrolled in the program over a one-year period (N = 38) were interviewed individually pre- and post-participation. Knowledge of osteoporosis, level of social support, coping styles, and perceptions of the impact of pain and chronicity were assessed. Patients reported improved future outlook despite continued concern about pain and chronicity. Mention of depression was reduced, and knowledge of osteoporosis increased significantly. In addition, there were meaningful changes in patients' understanding of disease management. These included knowing when to make specific changes and avoid harmful actions. The findings suggest that an educational program can have a positive impact on patients' coping. Educational efforts may be an important component in the management of chronic disease.
Gold, DT; Bales, CW; Lyles, KW; Drezner, MK
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