Objectives: The aim of this study was to investigate the effect of a self-instruction manual for physicians dealing with acute porphyria. Methods: This study was based on a "pretest-posttest control group design" and selected specific field physicians as the target audience. A self-administered structured questionnaire was developed. The content of the manual was based on the relevant literature and interviews with physicians and patients, and finalized with expert reviews. Finally, we collected data from 40 physicians in the experimental group and 48 physicians in the control group (they had never met before, were randomly chosen and were willing to answer to our questionnaire), using the same time interval between the pre-test and the post-test. The intervention effects were evaluated by using one way analysis of covariance (ANCOVA). Results: The self-instruction manual increased knowledge, attitude, and self-efficiency with regard to acute porphyria, and all of these differences were statistically significant. Conclusions: To the best of our knowledge, this was the first time that the impact of a self-instruction manual on physicians dealing with a rare disease was studied in Taiwan. A self-instruction manual can provide a reference for physicians, and the results of this research can serve as a model for future references about rare diseases.
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