Computers in Patient Education

Deborah Lewis, EdD, RN, MPH


Comput Inform Nurs. 2003;21(2) 

In This Article

Study Selection

The eligibility criteria for inclusion in this study were twofold: The article had to be written in English, and it had to be a research article published in a peer-reviewed journal. The articles could have used randomized trials or other computer-based patient education research designs that provided statistically significant results. The designs are more fully described in Table 1 . This review included 32 research-based reports.

Because of the wide variation in research design and reporting, a formal meta-analysis could not be performed for this body of research. Likewise, development of a numeric scoring criterion was not possible.

The review criteria were limited by the maturity of the field. Many interesting studies report projects still in development, and although they are informative, they do not provide a measure of statistical significance regarding the impact of intervention.

It is important to note that this study was a cumulative work, building on two previous publications[1,2] that synthesized the computer-based patient education and consumer informatics literature, respectively from 1971 to 1998, and from 1998 to June 2000. Methodology and study selection criteria were consistent across all three studies. Data related to computer-based patient education is presented and summarized in this report, which incorporates new data from the current literature search. The table from the initial study[1] was updated in the current study, with permission of the American Medical Informatics Association, to include computer-based patient education research studies from 1998 to 2001. References cited in the initial table, and thus provided in the initial study, are cited again in the current report to provide readers with a complete reference list. The author acknowledges that reviewer bias is a limitation of this study.

A summary of the findings from all three review studies are presented in Table 1 . Discussions in the current study include references to narrative and anecdotal reports that did not meet the research-based inclusion criteria for this article.


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