Short and long-term impact of a structured educational program on the patient's knowledge of hypertension

C. Cuspidi, L. Sampieri, G. Macca, V. Fusi, M. Salerno, L. Lonati, B. Severgnini, I. Michev, F. Magrini, A. Zanchetti

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background. It has been generally accepted that educational programs can be beneficial in the treatment of a number of chronic diseases such as diabetes mellitus as well as of cardiovascular risk factors and hypertension. We organized a structured educational intervention aimed at 1) assessing the patient's baseline knowledge of hypertension, 2) verifying the short and long-term impact of this initiative on patient's education. Methods. We invited 174 consecutive patients referred to our hypertension outpatient clinic to participate in an educational meeting on hypertension. For organizational reasons, patients were divided into two groups, each attending a single meeting. Each meeting included four sessions: 1) in the first session a multiple choice questionnaire (nine questions, with answers collected by an interactive electronic system) was administered in order to evaluate patients' baseline knowledge of hypertension, 2) a traditional teaching session, 3) an interactive phase aimed at assessing the improvement of knowledge in which the same questions as in the first session were assessed again, 4) a general discussion session. At the end of the meeting a booklet on principal issues related to hypertension was given to each patient. In order to evaluate the long-term impact of this initiative on the patient's knowledge, 6 months later we invited the patients to answer to the same questions in a questionnaire sent to their home address. Results. One hundred thirty-three patients of the 174 invited attended the meeting and 111 (57 males, 54 females, mean age 53 ± 13 years) completed the questionnaire after 6 months. The answers to the questions in the initial session were correct in a percentage ranging from 60 to 80% (mean 68%) and immediately after the teaching session this rate increased significantly (range 75-98%, mean 90 %, p <0.05 at least, in all questions). A similar good level of knowledge was maintained in the long term (percentage of exact answers ranging from 78 to 97%, mean 88%, p <0.05 or p <0.01 compared to baseline). Conclusions. The findings of the present study show a positive short and long-term impact of a structured educational intervention on the patient's knowledge of issues related to arterial hypertension. The beneficial role on clinical outcomes such as blood pressure control and cardiovascular events will need future controlled trials. (Ital Heart J 2000; 1 (12): 839-843).

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)839-843
Number of pages5
JournalItalian Heart Journal
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - 2000


  • Educational program
  • Hypertension
  • Patient's knowledge

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine


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