Background and aims: A well-informed patient is a prerequisite for adherence to lifestyle changes and drug treatments, which improve prognosis of CAD. Problem-based learning (PBL) is in line with principles of adult learning. The aim was to develop and evaluate a PBL rehabilitation programme for coronary artery disease (CAD) patients.
The PBL model: In the PBL programme, 6-9 patients and a tutor met ftrst at 9 (I), and after revision at 13 (III and IV) sessions during a one year period. Learning needs related to CAD, its treatment, psychosocial issues, and behavioural changes were focused upon.
Subjects and methods: To validate the PBL programme, six tutors were interviewed, seven PBL groups were videotaped, and 44 other patients answered a questionnaire (I). To evaluate the validity of the MTI/CSA activity monitor, as a means of measuring physical activity intensity, 34 patients walked on a treadmill at three different speeds. Indirect calorimetry was used to determine energy expenditure (EE) (11). In order to evaluate the effects of the PBL programme (III and IV), 207 patients (55% of all eligible), were randomised to the PBL programme (n=104) or to a control group (n=103). All patients received standard therapy. Physical activity was measured by interview and by the activity monitor, and quality of life by the Ladder of Life, Self-rated Health, Cardiac Health Profile, and SF-36. All measurements were performed before randomisation and at the end of the programme.
Results: The PBL-model could be incorporated into the clinical routine with a high participation rate. Initial problems with the tutor role and the structured problem-solving process in the group-work were revealed, which led to revision of the model. PBL stimulated participants to search actively for knowledge, while remaining to fmd demands adequate and being positive about the education. According to self-reports, lifestyle changes had been performed (I). The MTI/CSA activity monitor was a valid tool for quantifying both amount and intensity of physical activity during walking (II). The PBL programme did not affect physical activity. No increase in activity was found in any of the groups over the one year period Activity, as measured by the activity monitor, was lower than recommended in guidelines for secondary prevention (III). On the contrary, self-reports indicated higher and adequate physical activity. The PBL programme seemed to have positive effects on quality of life, as measured by global instruments. No effects were found on health-related or disease specific aspects of quality of life (IV).
Conclusion: The PBL programme was feasible to run in clinical practice. Education of tutors was crucial and required time. The programme stimulated participants to become active learners. The PBL model had no effects on physical activity, but some effects on global quality of life. Physical activity remained unchanged and low in both groups, as measured by the activity monitor, which was a useful and reliable tool, while self-reports seemed to overestimate performed physical activity. Quality of life improved in both groups over the year. More data are needed to evaluate the usefulness of the PBL-model.
Linköping: Linköpin Universitet , 2005. , 65 p.