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Pharmacotherapy. 1998 Nov-Dec;18(6 Pt 3):158S-164S.

Patient education: a tool in the outpatient management of deep vein thrombosis.

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School of Pharmacy, University of Maryland, University Health Center, University of Maryland Medical System, Baltimore 21201-1715, USA.


A key to effective outpatient management of thromboembolic disease is patient education. Although highly effective for the treatment of deep vein thrombosis (DVT), antithrombotic treatment may fail as a result of inadequate patient education. The risk of hemorrhage from antithrombotic drugs is related to a number of factors including intensity of anticoagulation achieved, comorbid illness, concurrent drug therapy, and lifestyle. When patients receive inadequate antithrombotic treatment, the risk of recurrent thromboembolic events and long-term complications are substantially increased. A well-organized, structured education program enables patients to learn the necessary skills that permit complex and valuable therapies to be managed on an outpatient basis. Health care professionals who are part of an outpatient DVT treatment program should possess working knowledge of adult learning theory and instructional design. To be effective, education programs should be systematically planned, have an educationally sound structure, and attempt to meet specific objectives. In addition, they should build on patients' existing knowledge, skills, and attitudes. Periodic evaluation of the education program is important to ensure that overall goals are being adequately met and to identify areas of weakness.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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