To assess patients' knowledge of gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) lifestyle modifications and to identify patients' behaviors associated with GERD management before and after an educational intervention.
The study was conducted at five indigent health centers in Columbus, OH, from January to May 2007. A total of 30 adult patients with GERD receiving proton pump inhibitor (PPI) therapy were assessed. In both the control and intervention groups, a pretest consisting of 23 questions assessed patients' knowledge regarding GERD and lifestyle modifications. A presurvey consisting of eight questions assessed patients' current behaviors associated with GERD management using both lifestyle modifications and PPIs. The intervention group also received approximately 10 minutes of education on lifestyle modifications. A posttest and postsurvey were given 8 to 12 weeks after the initial session to both groups. Main outcome measures included change in test score for patients in the control versus intervention groups. Outcomes measured on the pre- and postsurvey included source of heartburn information/education, smoking status, trigger foods eaten weekly, frequency of monthly heartburn episodes, and PPI adherence.
The average change in test scores was 1.33 and 2.73 in the control and intervention groups, respectively (P = 0.11; two-sample t test). The frequency of monthly heartburn episodes increased postsurvey in the control group; however, the frequency of monthly episodes decreased in the intervention group. For the presurvey, no patients reported ever having received GERD education from a pharmacist. For the postsurvey, all 15 patients in the intervention group stated that they had received education from a pharmacist.
The intervention group patients had higher mean change in test scores compared with the control group, although this difference did not reach statistical significance. The failure to achieve statistical significance may have resulted from the small sample size. The pharmacist-patient interaction improved patient knowledge and some behaviors made in GERD management and symptom reduction.