A framework to guide effective patient education
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A framework to guide effective patient education

Deryn Lee Thompson Lecturer, University of South Australia, Adelaide, eczema nurse, Women’s and Children’s Health Network, North Adelaide, South Australia

Nurses who understand the philosophical concept of knowledge are able to deliver patient education more effectively. A framework that combines nursing, education and cognitive psychology elements helps to enhance nurses’ understanding of why this is needed for effective patient education. Patients need to gain and retain knowledge as they develop the practical skills and behaviour changes they need if they are to manage health conditions successfully. The framework discussed in this article was developed to assist specialist nurses providing education for children with eczema. However, it is also useful for nurses in other disciplines. After reading this article and completing the time out activities you should be able to:

Discuss the essential elements of patient education for effective, long-term management of health conditions.

Explain the distinction between declarative knowledge and procedural knowledge, and describe how knowledge is gained by the patient and his/her family.

Describe how nurses can enable the behaviour changes that patients require to manage health conditions in the long-term.

Outline the theoretical basis of successful patient education by nurses.

Primary Health Care. 27, 2, 35-42. doi: 10.7748/phc.2017.e1206



Peer review

This article has been subject to external double-blind peer review and checked for plagiarism using automated software

Conflict of interest

None declared

Received: 13 August 2016

Accepted: 18 October 2016