Educational activities

Students and teachers attending on EPE Course in 2015. The first lecture was held by Professor Febe Friberg from University of Stavanger, Norway.

Educational activities

Empowering patient education programme arranges educational courses:

International education:

Empowering Patient Education Course (25 ECTS)

Empowering Patient Education programme arranges education designed for international and Finnish master and PhD students in nursing and health sciences as well as for health care professionals working in nursing practice. The education includes Empowering Patient Education (EPE) Course (25 ECTS). The international EPE course is arranged yearly since 2008 and it contains five modules.

Heads of Empowering Patient Education programme, professor Helena Leino-Kilpi and professor Sanna Salanterä were awarded the Producer Price of Learning Material by the Faculty of Medicine in 2012 for EPE Course.


The course aims at describing the theoretical and methodological basis for empowering patient education from the perspectives of the patient, personnel, health care organization and society, deepening understanding of analyzing and implementing and doing research of the empowering patient education, and making judgements about empowering patient education in clinical settings and research.

Course contains

Part 1:

Interactive online periods
September 9th – November 14th, 2021.


  • Orientation and conceptual basis of empowering patient education (5 ects)
  • Diagnostics in empowering patient education (5 ects)
  • Patient education as an empowering patient education intervention (5 ects)
  • Evaluation of empowering patient education (5 ects)
Part 2:

Independent working including written assignments and reading
November 15th – December 6th, 2021
intensive online period including lectures and seminars
December 7th – December 10th, 2021


  • Special issues in empowering patient education research (5 ects)

Application deadline August 15th 2021.

Free for students in master and PhD programmes. Price for others: 500 €.

Application for the course


Study guide

Contact information: Heli Virtanen, University Teacher, hetuvi(a)

Student comments

Some comments from previous EPE course participants who have been from various countries:

Austria, Denmark, Finland, Germany, Greece, Iceland, Ireland, Lithuania, the Netherlands, Portugal, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, USA.

Theoretical issues

“I thought the course would be only on the concept of empowerment. I have been very positively surprised.”
“This knowledge significantly expanded my understanding of EPE. During this course I got some good ideas to my own research.”
“I think I need more information about methods/strategies used in empowering patient education.”
“The lecture about outcomes of empowering patient education is so important that it should be longer.”

Learning issues

“Course challenged my academic thinking and expanded my command of knowledge.”
“The learning happened during the lectures and discussions. Deep learning happened every day when we were present here.”
“It opened my head for new ideas, new perspectives in patient care. Thnak you for offering the course!”
“Corresponded exactly with my gods. This is the kind of learning that is claiming in my country.”
“My institute of nursing science and my hospital do not have structured programs in patient education, but the Department of Nursing Science of University of Turku has a very strong expertise in it.”
“Learning takes of writing a review. I learned a lot!! Really effective. Very good – very supported.”
“I developed a lot of ideas but they are circle around in a confusion manner in my brain and I still hope to get my patient education program designed.”

Practical issues

“All was executed according to the plan. As a foreign student I got information and plans about lodging and the University.”
“An excellent course, highly organised with excellent resources provided”
“Excellent to have everything on Moodle (literature, presentations)”
“Education environment Moodle was used and it was very useful forum for communicating with other students and stuff.”
“It was easy to contact the lecturers and the Professors of the Department of Nursing Science. They responded quickly if I had some problems.”

International collaboration issues

“We got to know each other very well. I liked very much that there were also international students. It was nice to go together for dinner and so on.”
“There has planned specific moments to the course that we could interact with other students.”
“Very much good-will between students from different countries – helpfulness and friendliness”
“The group came very close.”

National education:

EPE Theme Day

EPE Theme Day (Potilasohjauksen teemapäivä) is an annual, free webinar in Finnish providing recent research findings in the field and diverse perspectives to empowering patient education. The theme day is targeted at health and social care professionals and students, researchers in health sciences, patients and their significant others, and anyone who is interested in empowering patient education.

The next EPE Theme Day will be on 12 May 2022. The program will be published as soon as it is ready.

Past EPE Theme Days:

Contact information: Saija Inkeroinen, Research assistant, saanin(a)

Skilled Patient Educator Course (6 ECTS)

The course aims at developing empowering patient education in health care practice. The teaching methods include lectures, supervision meetings and completion of written patient education material. The students develop written empowering patient education material for their own unit.  The education is designed for health care professionals working in health care practice.  Empowering Patient Education -programme of the Department of Nursing Science is responsible for teaching. The course is arranged with the Hospital District of Southwest Finland, Satakunta Hospital District and with Turku Health Care Services.

For the students taken the Skilled Patient Educator Course, Learning Café evens and other social events have been arranged.

Contact information: If you are interested in organizing this course in your organization, please contact professor Helena Leino-Kilpi (helena.leino-kilpi(a) or research assistant Saija Inkeroinen (saanin(a)

Patient Education Symposium (0,5 ECTS)

The current practices and new innovations of patient education are presented as well as outcomes of patient education are evaluated in symposium. The education is designed for health care professionals, leaders, master and PhD-students, teachers and researchers in nursing and health sciences. Symposium is arranged with the Hospital District of Southwest Finland and Satakunta Hospital District.

Expertice in teaching

Helena Leino-Kilpi, Professor, Nurse director, PhD, MEd, RN, FAAN, FEANS, MAE

Patient education
Empowering patient education
Researching patient education
Ethics of patient education

Sanna Salanterä, Professor, PhD, RN, FEANS

Patient education
Empowering patient education
Evidence based patient education
Written patient education
Effective patient education methods
Patient education of children
Researching patient education

Kirsi Valkeapää (ex Johansson), Title of docent, PhD, RN

Patient education
Orthopaedic nursing
Surgical nursing
Research methods/methodological issues especially surveys
Questionnaire studies
Quasiexperimental and experimental study design

Heli Virtanen, PhD, RN

Empowering patient education
Empowering discourse between a patient and a nurse
Learning needs of surgical patient
Requirement of a good written educational material
Evaluation of written patient education material
Learning of patient education in nursing education
Virtual patient simulation in learning of patient education
Computer-assisted simulation in nursing education

Evanthia Sakellari, PhD, RHV

Drawings in patient education
Health promotion
Mental health promotion
School health promotion
Empowering adolescents

Mervi Siekkinen, PhD, RT

Patient education
E-education of breast cancer patients
Empowering patient education
Health promotion
Knowledge test development
Knowledge test – Feedback

Jukka Kesänen, PhD, RN

Patient education
Empowering patient education
Orthopaedic Nursing
Day-surgical nursing and Critical care nursing
Knowledge tests
Drawings in patient education

Arja Pekonen, MNSc, RN, Doctoral candidate

Patient education
Orthopaedic nursing
Follow-up study designs

Leena Tuominen, MNSc, Doctoral candidate

Teach-back method

Educational methods

Internet-based patient education methods

Empowering Internet-based patient education program
Empowering Internet-based patient education programme was created aiming to cognitively empower ambulatory orthopaedic surgery patients. Ambulatory patients possibilities to become cognitively empowered can be increased with the help of cognitively empowering Internet-based education. It can be recommended as an alternative to the face-to-face education method for ambulatory orthopaedic surgery patients.

Principal Investigator: Katja Heikkinen, RN, PhD

Publications based on this method:

Internet-based breast cancer patient’s pathway program (BCPP)
Internet-based breast cancer patient’s pathway program (BCPP) was developed to evaluate the effect of the BCPP to the breast cancer patient’s empowerment by using the patient pathway as a patient education tool. The Internet seems to be an effective patient education tool for increasing knowledge, and BCPP can be used as a patient education method supporting other education methods

Principal Investigator: Anne Ryhänen, RT, PhD

Publication based on this method:

Concept mapping method

Concept mapping method in patient education
The concept mapping method has been originally developed into teaching use for teaching and learning method, and for assessment of learning (Noval 1984). We have used the concept map method in patient and nurse education.
In patient education, the concept map method was studied in preadmission education of orthopaedic patients prior to hospital admission in education discussion. The concept map method seems to be useful in identification of the orthopaedic patient’s previous and current understanding about care-related issues and concentrate to issues on which the patient has no previous knowledge but which are relevant to his/her situation.

Principal Investigator: Kirsi Valkeapää (ex Johansson), Adjunct Professor, RN, PhD

Publications based on this method:

Concept mapping method in nurse education
In nurse education, the concept map method was studied as an assessment method of learning of empowering discourse. The method was used so that a student draw a concept map on their knowledge before and after learning session.

Principal Investigator: Heli Virtanen, PhD, RN

Publications based on this method:

  • Virtanen, H., Leino-Kilpi, H., & Salanterä, S. (2016). Nursing students’ knowledge about an empowering discourse: Pretest and posttest assessment. Collegian23(3), 293–301.
  • Virtanen H, Leino-Kilpi S & Salanterä S. (2015). Learning about a patient-empowering discourse: testing the use of a computer simulation with nursing students. Journal of Nursing Education and Practice 5 (6), 15–24.

Knowledge tests

Publications based on knowledge test method:

Drawings in patient education

Publications based on drawings in patient education:

Teach-back method

Publications based on teach-back method:

  • Tuominen, L., Ritmala-Castrén, M., Nikander, P., Mäkelä, S., Vahlberg, T., & Leino-Kilpi, H. (2021). Empowering patient education on self-care activity among patients with colorectal cancer – a research protocol for a randomised trial. BMC nursing, 20(1), 94.

Patient simulation

Publications coming soon.