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Comparison of two teaching methods for self-care training for patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.


Group instruction in self care is a widely used adjunct to the medical management of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). Such classes are neither convenient nor accessible to all COPD patients, however, especially those in rural areas. A self-teaching module could be a practical means of serving hard-to-reach patients. This study compares the results of a self-teaching module with those of an established group method in teaching 13 self-care skills to COPD patients. On referral from their physicians, patients in eight rural locations were randomly assigned to receive training through a group or a self-teaching process. Knowledge gain, skill attainment, skill implementation, and beneficial results were measured at the end of instruction and again six months later. The two teaching methods were compared by analyzing the data on 34 patients matched for the variables of smoking, diagnosis, and severity of disease. No statistically significant difference was observed between the two educational methods in any of the parameters measured. The fact that approximately three out of four patients benefited through either process suggests that the self-teaching module is as effective as group instruction.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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