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Clin Exp Rheumatol. 2011 Mar-Apr;29(2 Suppl 65):S60-5. Epub 2011 May 13.

Addressing patient health care demands in systemic sclerosis: pre-post assessment of a psycho-educational group programme.

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  • 1Department of Rheumatology, Sint Maartenskliniek Nijmegen, The Netherlands.



Patients diagnosed with systemic sclerosis (SSc) report a high need for education and support. To address these needs, a short, group-based psycho-educational programme for patients with SSc was developed and evaluated.


A pre-post test design was utilised. Participants completed questionnaires on physical and psychological functioning. Furthermore, patients were asked to evaluate the content of the programme by questionnaire.


Data from 41 patients were available for analysis. Patients reported less helplessness after the intervention, and higher acceptance of their limitations. However, no difference in depressed mood and physical functioning was observed. Patients reported high satisfaction with the content of the programme.


Despite the limited changes in psychological and physical functioning, this psycho-educational programme addresses patients' needs reported in previous study and therefore contributes to the improvement of care for patients with SSc.

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