Background: There is importance for enhancing communication and sharing between IBD patients and the medical team. Disease-related knowledge can positively affect the acceptance of the disease, enhance patient's engagement in his care, facilitate adherence and improve patient-related outcomes. A periodic e-news' letter can be a part of such patient engagement strategy; however its value for the patient has not been evaluated.
Methods: An electronic newsletter was developed and delivered to patients being cared for in the specialized IBD clinic of a tertiary medical center (July 2015 –November 2016). The letter included short description of all the various team personal including doctors, IBD clinic nurses, clinic secretaries and supporting staff. The letter also included information about several aspects of IBD. Six months after the newsletter was sent, a questionnaire was distributed to patients assessing their perception on the newsletter and the knowledge they gained from it.
Results: Five hundred and eighty seven questionnaires were distributed and 178 (30.3%) returned, of whom 87 (48.8%) reported receiving the electronic newsletter. All patients stated that the letter content was sufficiently clear; 95.5% considered the content to be relevant for them and the presentation- reader-friendly; 40.3% required additional clarifications from the team regarding the newsletter content. Seventy six percent confirmed that the newsletter help them to recognize and get acquainted with the members of the IBD team. 98.5% considered the newsletter to be valuable to them and expressed their willingness to continue receiving it regularly.
Conclusions: An electronic newsletter is highly appreciated by the IBD patients, and can provide them with valuable education on IBD and improve their familiarity with the medical team of the IBD clinic.