45 minutes of patient education can improve chronic disease management, study finds

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Devoting 45 minutes to patient education can improve outcomes for patients managing chronic diseases, according to a study published in the Journal of the American Osteopathic Association.

Researchers assigned 47 patients diagnosed with a chronic disease, such as hypertension, COPD or diabetes, to visit with a second-year medical student for 45 minutes after visiting their physician. The study found the session significantly improved patients' attitudes and abilities in self-managing their care.

Study participants had additional follow-up appointments with the students at three weeks and three months after their initial session. The researchers evaluated the patients using a 40-point questionnaire and found results at both points showed consistent improvement in patients' willingness and capacity to self-manage their care.

"Patients reported a greater understanding of their chronic disease and feeling better equipped to manage their health," said lead study author Alexis Stoner, PhD. "This is encouraging because these diseases typically require patients to take on a lot of responsibility in their care, often through changes in lifestyle."

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