[en] knowledge evaluation ; degree of certainty ; group certainty topography ; type I diabetes
[en] In patients with chronic diseases education should improve knowledge about the disease and increase certainty in knowledge. We present here a technique to measure changes in certainty after an educational intervention. For this purpose, before and after a course, patients answer a questionnaire in which answers are accompanied by an estimate of the degree of certainty. Answers are then assigned to areas of knowledge defined a priori: mastered (certainty greater than or equal to90%, correctness greater than or equal to90%), hazardous (certainty greater than or equal to90%, correctness less than or equal to50%), uncertain (certainty less than or equal to50%, correctness greater than or equal to90%) and residual. Finally differences in the distribution of answers among different areas are analysed statistically. Using this technique in a group of patients with type I diabetes who followed a course on insulin use, we found significant changes in the distribution of answers among different areas of knowledge. Thus changes in certainty can be analysed quantitatively and used to evaluate better the effect of therapeutic education. (C) 2002 Elsevier Science Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.