Methotrexate patient education: A quality improvement study

Academic Article


  • Objective. To determine patients' knowledge of the safe use and toxicity of methotrexate (MTX) and to define educational interventions implemented by a rheumatology nurse that improved patients' understanding of MTX therapy. Methods. One hundred eighty-three patients from a university-based rheumatology clinic who were taking MTX completed an initial knowledge questionnaire concerning the proper use and possible toxicity of MTX. Following completion, a nurse reviewed the correct answers with each patient and provided written information on MTX. One hundred thirty-eight of these patients completed a followup questionnaire at the next visit or by mail. The questionnaires were analyzed, and a total MTX knowledge score was calculated. Results. MTX knowledge improved significantly between questionnaires; mean total score (± SD) increased from 7.32 ± 3.99 to 10.23 ± 3.29 (P < 0.001). After accounting for a person's initial questionnaire score, the addition of a supplemental 'MTX pocket-card' was associated with a higher score on the followup questionnaire (adjusted odds ratio [OR] = 2.37; 95% confidence interval [CI] 1.14, 4.95; P = 0.021). Patients over age 55 were 4 times more likely to have a poorer score compared with patients under age 45 (adjusted OR = 0.23; 95% Cl 0.07, 0.73; P = 0.013). Conclusion. Knowledge of the toxicity and safe use of MTX was significantly improved by a patient education program utilizing a rheumatology nurse. Older individuals appear to be at higher risk for knowledge deficits. A supplemental MTX pocket-card proved to be a simple but beneficial addition to our MTX educational program.
  • Authors

    Published In

    Author List

  • Burma MR; Rachow JW; Kolluri S; Saag KG
  • Start Page

  • 216
  • End Page

  • 222
  • Volume

  • 9
  • Issue

  • 3