In a randomised controlled trial a Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) checklist intended to prepare coronary artery disease (CAD) outpatients for a medical check-up visit at the cardiologist was evaluated. The checklist was mailed to patients in preparation to their visits after 1, 4 and 10 months following patients' discharge from hospitalisation for CAD. It was hypothesised that the intervention would result in lower state anxiety, better patient-doctor communication, more knowledge of CAD and greater patient satisfaction, while it would not result in longer visits. Repeated measurements analyses of covariance showed that experimental patients (N=46) were less anxious before the first visit. This visit was shorter than in the controls, though the third visit was longer. Control patients (N=59) showed more CAD knowledge than experimental patients at the first and third visit. Experimental patients found the checklist useful, though its value diminished at subsequent visits. Using the checklist thus decreased anxiety prior to the first visit and the duration of that visit, while negatively affecting knowledge. No conclusions about long-term effects could be drawn, due to the likelihood of type II and type III errors. Process evaluation indicated that the approach used is not sufficiently stimulating for patients to use as a preparation to every visit.

Checklist, Coronary artery disease, Information exchange, Patient education, Randomised controlled trial,
Patient Education and Counseling
Erasmus MC: University Medical Center Rotterdam

Bolman, C, Brug, J, Bär, F.W.H.M, Martinali, J, & van den Borne, B. (2005). Long-term efficacy of a checklist to improve patient education in cardiology. Patient Education and Counseling, 56(2), 240–248. doi:10.1016/j.pec.2004.02.018