Empowering Patient Education in Other Clinical Fields

Matti Nurminen presenting his poster, Helsinki 2015

Empowering Patient Education in Other Clinical Fields

Research of empowering patient education has been conducted on several clinical contexts; mental health, pediatric care, cardiac nursing and oral care. See publications for overall view.


Adolescents Mental Health Needs Assessment in the Community

Post doc researcher: Evanthia Sakellari, PhD, MSc, RHV

​Members of the research team:
Helena Leino-Kilpi, PhD, RN, Professor, University of Turku, Department of Nursing Science
Andre Sourander, MD, PhD, Professor, University of Turku, Faculty of Medicine, Research Centre for Child Psychiatry
Christina Athanasopoulou, PhD Candidate, MAed, BScOT, University of Turku, Department of Nursing Science
Pinja Kokkonen, MSc student, RN, University of Turku, Department of Nursing Science
Jouko Katajisto, Statistician, University of Turku, Faculty of Mathematics and Natural Sciences

Adolescents are the future adults and their mental health is important for promoting community health and healthy societies. In order to meet the adolescents’ needs and develop mental health promotion programmes, adolescents must be heard. Empowerment is a key tool and a core concept for mental health promotion programmes.

The aim of the study is to assess the adolescents’ mental health needs, determine the factors that are connected with those needs and further, identify the resources they use in order to address those needs. The ultimate goal is to assist the health professionals to promote mental health among adolescents in different European countries. Thus, the study will provide a framework to gain a better understanding of the mental health needs among adolescents. The findings of this study will have scientific as well as societal impact within community health for adolescents.

The results from this study will be used to develop a model for the mental health promotion among adolescents within the community including school-based intervention strategies which can be used by health professionals, policy makers and stakeholders. This model will focus on the factors related to mental health needs and more importantly on the resources the adolescents depend on to address their own mental health needs as well as activities and actions for supporting/improving their mental health.

The study is taking place in Finland and Greece, enabling cross-cultural comparisons. Data will be collected from adolescents of secondary schools (N=400) in each country. Web-based questionnaires with structured and open-ended questions including background sociodemographic characteristics will be used for the purpose of data collection. Appropriate instruments identified by the review of the literature will be used.

The Greek collaborating organisation is the Department of Public Health and Community Health at the Technological Educational Institute of Athens (Greece), where the post-doctoral researcher holds a Lecturer position.
Currently, the research team has completed data collection in Finland and they are at the stage of analysing and reporting them.

More information: Evanthia Sakellari, evasak@utu.fi

Greek adolescents’ views of people with mental illness though drawing: mental health education’s impact (Evanthia Sakellari)

Assesment of secondary school pupils’ mental health needs (Pinja Kokkonen)

Supporting patients oral self-care through empowering patient education

Principal investigator:
Mirkka Järvinen, MNSc, RDH (doctoral thesis)


Marja Pöllänen, DDS, PhD, Specialist in Periodontology
Kirsi Valkeapää, Adjunct Professor, PhD, RN

The purpose of this study is to develop and test empowering patient education program for adults with periodontitis. Design is randomized control trial. The ultimate goal is to develop dental patient education to become more empowering so that individuals have competence to take care of themselves.

The first phase (2008-2009) In the first phase the aim was to describe current patient education in oral health care settings. Survey for dental hygienist (n=222) was done. The results show that although dental hygienists assessed their skills and knowledge as good the implementation of education was not so strong and the viewpoint of patient was disregarded.

The second phase (2010-2014) the aim was to analyze what kind of patient education interventions consisting of self-care of adults with existing periodontitis have been conducted and what their main results are. The results show that there are few educational intervention studies about adults with periodontitis, and the evidence of these studies was not very strong. All studies showed improvement in the amount of plaque, while improvement in the state of periodontitis was not so clear due to short follow-up times.

The third phase (2010-2014) In the third phase education program was planned and pilot study of randomized control trial was done. There were 25 patients randomly divided into experimental and control groups. Patients in experimental group received patient education based on Motivational Interview. Patients were asked if they were willing to make a change in their oral health behavior, the goal for change was written in patient records and the change was supported. Patients in control group receive a traditional education. Instruments were Questionnaire of self-care and Communication Assessment Tool. Also Bleeding Index, Pocket Probing Depth, Clinical Attachment Loss and Plaque Index were measured. The analyzing of research material is ongoing (2015).

The fourth phase (2015) registry study will be done. Data which will be analyzed is the register of patients treated by the dental hygienist student of the Helsinki Metropolia University of Applied Sciences. Visible plaque index, bleeding index and CPI will be gathered from the years 2004 and 2014. In 2011 Motivational Interview was implemented in dental hygienist curriculum. The aim is to analyze if there is difference in oral health and number of visits between these two years.

Hypothesis will be: Patients educated by Motivational Interview are more capable to take care of themselves and their oral health is better than the patients educated by traditional program.

Counselling on limited preoperative fasting in paediatric ambulatory tonsillectomy

Nurse-led interpersonal counselling for depressive symptoms in patients with myocardial infaction