Abstract

Feasibility, acceptability and cost efficiency of using webinars to deliver first-line patient education for people with Irritable Bowel Syndrome as part of a dietetic-led gastroenterology service in primary care

J Hum Nutr Diet. 2020 Aug 20. doi: 10.1111/jhn.12799. Online ahead of print.

M Williams 1, Y Barclay 1, L Harper 1, C Marchant 1, L Seamark 1, M Hickson 2

 
     

Author information

  • 1Community Dietetics Service, Somerset NHS Foundation Trust, Taunton, UK.
  • 2Institute of Health and Community, University of Plymouth, Plymouth, UK.

Abstract

Background: Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) is a chronic functional gastrointestinal disorder. International research suggests dietary intervention as a first-line approach, although dietetic services are struggling to cope with demand. Digital technology may offer a solution to deliver appropriate patient education. The present study aimed to assess the feasibility, acceptability and cost efficiency of using webinars to deliver first-line IBS advice to patients as part of a dietetic-led gastroenterology service in primary care.

Methods: Patients were directed to an IBS First Line Advice webinar on a specialist NHS website. Data were collected from patients pre- and post-webinar use using an online survey.

Results: In total, 1171 attendees completed the pre-webinar survey and 443 completed the post-webinar survey. Attendees ranged from under 17 years to over 75 years. Of the attendees, 95% found the webinar easy to access and 91% were satisfied with the content of the webinar. Those with excellent or good knowledge rose from 25% pre-webinar to 67% post-webinar, and confidence in managing their condition improved for 74% of attendees. Using the webinars led to a 44% reduction in referrals for one-to-one appointments with a specialist dietitian in the first year of use. The value of the clinical time saved is estimated at £3593 per annum. The one-off cost of creating the webinar was £3597.

Conclusions: The use of webinars is a feasible, acceptable and cost-efficient way of delivering first-line patient education to people suffering with Irritable Bowel Syndrome as part of a dietetic-led gastroenterology service in primary care.

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