How do I integrate patient education into practice?

How do I Integrate Patient Education Into Practice?

Time for patient education is often in short supply in busy primary care practices and inadequately reimbursed, making it important to plan and make optimal use of existing resources.1

Key points for integrating patient education
into your practice

  • Depending on your practice philosophy and structure, consider2,3:
    • Providing patients with informal brochures or handouts, question-and-answer
      sheets, or packets with selected journal articles
    • Directing patients to credible, evidence-based educational sources on the Internet
      or in the community
      • Many patients with FM will explore on their own and find misleading
        or erroneous information

Note: This approach may offer the advantage of encouraging patients to begin taking some ownership in the process.

  • Providing supplemental education through patient advocacy organizations, group education programs, suggested reading, or other resources, and by utilizing clinical support staff as appropriate

Tools for integrating patient education in your practice


1. McCarberg BH. Fibromyalgia management for the primary care provider. In: McCarberg BH, Clauw DJ, eds. Fibromyalgia. New York, NY: Informa Healthcare; 2009:152-158.

2. Burckhardt CS. Educating patients: self-management approaches. Disabil Rehabil. 2005;27(12):703-709.

3. Goldenberg DL. Clinical Management of Fibromyalgia. 1st ed. West Islip, NY: Professional Communications, Inc; 2009.