Innovative Online Educational Portal Improves Disease-Specific Reproductive Knowledge Among Patients With Inflammatory Bowel Disease

Wierstra K1, Sutton R1, Bal J1, Ismond K1, Dieleman L1, Halloran B1, Kroeker K1, Fedorak R1, Berga KA2, Huang V1. Inflamm Bowel Dis. 2018 May 30. doi: 10.1093/ibd/izy161. [Epub ahead of print]

Author information

1 Division of Gastroenterology, Faculty of Medicine and Dentistry, University of Alberta, Edmonton, AB, Canada.

2 Faculty of Nursing, MacEwan University, Edmonton, AB, Canada.


BACKGROUND: Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) is often diagnosed in early adulthood, affecting patients through their reproductive years. Many patients, lacking knowledge about IBD and reproduction, make uninformed decisions. Although patients have turned to the Internet for information, it remains unclear if online resources are effective for improving and retaining IBD-specific reproductive knowledge. We aimed to elucidate if a multimedia vs text-only online educational intervention could improve IBD-specific reproductive knowledge for more than 6 months.

METHODS: We developed a website covering genetics, fertility, surgery, pregnancy, medications, delivery, and postpartum in the context of IBD. Adult IBD patients were randomized into study groups (multimedia or text-only) and provided 60-day access. Participants completed pre-, post-, and 6+ month-postintervention pregnancy knowledge (CCPKnow) questionnaires. Results were compared using nonparametric tests.

RESULTS: Of 111 registered participants, 78 (70.3%) completed pre- and postintervention questionnaires, and 37 (47.4%) subsequently completed the 6+ month questionnaire. Demographics were as follows: median age (interquartile range [IQR]) 29.3 (25.6-32.9) years, Crohn's disease n = 54 (69.2%), females n = 63 (80.3%), of which n = 5 (7.9%) were pregnant and n = 19 (30.2%) had previously been pregnant. The median CCPKnow scores (/17) (IQR) were 8.0 (3.0-10.0) pre-intervention, 16.0 (13.00-17.00) postintervention, and 14.0 (12.0-15.0) 6+ months postintervention. The median within-subject increase in score was 6.5 pre- to postintervention, and 4.0 pre- to 6+ months postintervention (both P < 0.001). The median increase in score (pre- to post-) was 8.0 for the multimedia group and 6.0 for the text-only group (P = 0.216).

CONCLUSIONS: An evidence-based, online educational portal can significantly improve and maintain IBD-specific reproductive patient knowledge for more than 6 months.

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