Implementation of patient-centered education for chronic-disease management in Uganda: An effectiveness study

Trishul Siddharthan, Tracy Rabin, Maureen E. Canavan, Faith Nassali, Phillip Kirchhoff, Robert Kalyesubula, Steven Coca, Asghar Rastegar, Felix Knauf

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Scopus citations


Background: The majority of non-communicable disease related deaths occur in low- and middle-income countries. Patient-centered care is an essential component of chronic disease management in high income settings. Objective: To examine feasibility of implementation of a validated patient-centered education tool among patients with heart failure in Uganda. Design: Mixed-methods, prospective cohort. Settings: A private and public cardiology clinic in Mulago National Referral and Teaching Hospital, Kampala, Uganda. Participants: Adults with a primary diagnosis of heart failure. Interventions: PocketDoktor Educational Booklets with patient-centered health education. Main Measures: The primary outcomes were the change in Patient Activation Measure (PAM-13), as well as the acceptability of the PocketDoktor intervention, and feasibility of implementing patientcentered education in outpatient clinical settings. Secondary outcomes included the change in satisfaction with overall clinical care and doctor-patient communication. Key Results: A total of 105 participants were enrolled at two different clinics: the Mulago Outpatient Department (public) and the Uganda Heart Institute (private). 93 participants completed follow up at 3 months and were included in analysis. The primary analysis showed improved patient activation measure scores regarding disease-specific knowledge, treatment options and prevention of exacerbations among both groups (mean change 0.94 [SD = 1.01], 1.02 [SD = 1.15], and 0.92 [SD = 0.89] among private paying patients and 1.98 [SD = 0.98], 1.93 [SD = 1.02], and 1.45 [SD = 1.02] among public paying patients, p<0.001 for all values) after exposure to the intervention; this effect was significantly larger among indigent patients. Participants reported that materials were easy to read, that they had improved knowledge of disease, and stated improved communication with physicians. Conclusions: Patient-centered medical education can improve confidence in self-management as well as satisfaction with doctor-patient communication and overall care in Uganda. Our results show that printed booklets are locally appropriate, highly acceptable and feasible to implement in an LMIC outpatient setting across socioeconomic groups.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere0166411
JournalPloS one
Issue number11
StatePublished - Nov 2016
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General


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