Evaluation of patient preparedness for surgery: a randomized controlled trial

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Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Patient preparedness for pelvic reconstructive surgery has important implications for patient satisfaction and the perception of improvement after surgery. The ideal method in which to optimally prepare patients for surgery has not been determined.

OBJECTIVE:

The objective of the study was to evaluate the impact of a preoperative patient education video on patient preparedness prior to sacrocolpopexy as measured by a preoperative preparedness questionnaire.

STUDY DESIGN:

We performed a single-blind, randomized, stratified clinical trial at a single academic center evaluating the use of a preoperative patient education video as an adjunct to preoperative counseling on patient preparedness. Eligible patients presenting for their preoperative appointment prior to undergoing pelvic reconstructive surgery were randomized to watch a preoperative video vs usual care. Preoperative questionnaires assessing patient preparedness, understanding, perception of time, and actual time spent with a health care team were administered at the end of this visit. The primary outcome was patient preparedness for pelvic reconstructive surgery as measured by a preoperative preparedness questionnaire. Secondary outcomes included actual time spent during the physician-patient encounter, perception of time spent with the health care team, and identification of patient factors associated with patient preparedness.

RESULTS:

Of the total 100 recruited patients, 52 were randomized to the video group and 48 to the usual-care group. The use of the video did not increase overall patient preparedness (71.1% with video vs 68.8% usual care, P = .79) prior to surgery. The use of the video did not decrease the amount of time spent during the physician-patient encounter (16.9 ± 5.6 min vs 17.1 ± 5.4 min, P = .87). There was a significant association between patient preparedness and perception that the health care team spent sufficient time with the patient (89.5% vs 10.5%; P < .001), but no association was observed between preparedness and actual time spent (17.4 ± 5.4 min vs16.5 ± 5.5 min, P = .47). Those with a history of a previous surgery (82.1% vs 33.3%, P = .002) and those with more significant apical prolapse (0.6 ± 4.6 vs –1.6 ± 3.9, P = .05) were more likely to report feeling prepared for surgery.

CONCLUSION:

The majority of patients undergoing pelvic surgery at our institution felt prepared prior to undergoing surgery. The use of preoperative education video did not increase overall patient preparedness for surgery. Greater preparedness was associated with patient perception of how much time the health care team spent with the patient but not actual time spent.

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