Information gain in patients using a multimedia website with tailored information on anaesthesia

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BackgroundThe preoperative visit is an appropriate time to educate the patient on anaesthesia. The aim of this study was to determine if a website, as an information source for anaesthesia before the visit to the preoperative assessment clinic (PAC), increases patients’ knowledge on anaesthesia.MethodsA multimedia website was developed containing specific information about anaesthesia relevant to the patient. A questionnaire was developed to measure knowledge gain. Patients were divided into three groups: (i) those who read the existing brochure; (ii) those who looked at the new website; and (iii) a cluster of non-brochure and non-website users: those who did not read the brochure or website but had completed the questionnaire. An anaesthesiologist also informed all three groups during the preoperative visit at the PAC.ResultsPatients visiting the website had a higher educational level than others. A significant increase in knowledge was observed after using the website information compared with the other two groups (P<0.001). The group with higher education levels had higher knowledge gains, and the website independently contributed to the knowledge gain.ConclusionsA patient-tailored multimedia website is an effective way to support the information provided by the anaesthesiologist in order to inform patients about their upcoming anaesthetic procedure. The use of such a website gives a significant increase in knowledge compared with only spoken information, or spoken information combined with a brochure.

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