Claire Collins, Gillian Doran, Patricia Patton, Roisin Fitzgerald and Andrée Rochfort. Does education of primary care professionals promote patient self-management and improve outcomes in chronic disease? An updated systematic review. BJGP Open 2021; 5 (3): BJGPO.2020.0186.
Primary care has a vital role in supporting patient autonomy to enable people with long-term conditions to manage their own health and wellness. Evidence is needed on whether education and training of health professionals helps support patient self-management and improves outcomes. The authors' first systematic review included only two articles showing patient outcomes following health professional training for promoting patient self-management.
To present an updated review undertaken from September 2013 to August 2018.
Design and setting
A systematic review was undertaken using the PRISMA guidelines, following the methodology of the first review and is outlined in the PROSPERO registered protocol.
Six databases were searched — Cochrane Library, PubMed, ERIC, Embase, Cumulative Index to Nursing and Allied Health Literature (CINAHL), and PsycINFO — in addition to web searches, hand searches, and bibliographies for articles published from 1 September 2013 to 31 August 2018.
The updated systematic review showed more evidence is now available with 18 articles in the 5-year period from the 4,284 abstracts located. Twelve of these articles showed a difference between intervention and control groups. Of the 18 articles identified, 11 were assessed as having a low risk of bias and five overall were rated of weak quality.
The educational interventions with health professionals spanned a range of techniques and modalities, and many incorporated multiple interventions including patient components. There may be a lack of adoption owing to several challenges, including that complex interventions may not be delivered as planned and are difficult to assess, and owing to patient engagement and the need for ongoing follow-up.
More high-quality research is needed on what methods work best, for which patients, and for what clinical conditions in the primary care setting. The practical implications of training healthcare professionals require specific attention.