Background ‘Patient education is the process by which others impart information to patients and carers that will alter their health behaviours’ (Doak, Doak, & Root, 1996). The results of a quality improvement project highlighted that patients wanted more learning opportunities whilst attending the unit. We explored and instigated a comprehensive patient and carers’ education programme.
Aims To increase the physical and mental health, wellbeing and safety of patients and carers who attend the hospice day therapy unit (DTU) by providing a continually evaluated 12 week education programme.
Methods August to December 2016 – bid submitted to United Utilities for funding. Confirmed. January to May 2017- project management group recruited. Review of the quality improvement project and literature. Education programme outline produced. Educators approached. Designed and printed project literature and take home information. Project named – ‘This is Me: Living Well’ programme. May 2017- programme one commenced with 12 diverse topics. Post-session evaluations measuring validity via a side by side matrix (Rankin, Stallings & London, 2005).
Results May 2017 to April 2018: Programmes 1–4. 165 sessions delivered. 963 total patient attendance. (44 from the In-Patient Unit/Clinical Nurse Specialist team) 304 total carer attendance.
User feedback 86.9% scored 5/6 (very good/excellent) for the sessions. 83% agreed/strongly agreed the programme has improved their confidence and self-esteem. 92% would recommend this programme to others. An external volunteer researcher is independently evaluating the programme. Preliminary analysis completed.
Conclusion The evaluation evidence highlights the positive contribution that the programme has made to patients’ lives; increasing valuable knowledge and enabling a more confident approach to their palliative journey. Other issues: restricted times to assess patients during the day, no alternative option for those not well enough to be active in the teaching; and emotive topics being discussed when some patients were feeling vulnerable. Links were also strengthened with external organisation educators enabling collaboration on additional patient focused projects.
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