Using Technology to Enhance Discharge Teaching and Improve Coping for Patients After Stroke

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Background: A diagnosis of stroke is a life-changing event. Effective discharge teaching after a stroke is crucial for recovery, but the overload of information can be overwhelming for patients and caregivers. Purpose: The purpose of this study was to examine differences in discharge readiness and postdischarge coping in patients admitted for stroke after the use of individualized postdischarge information/education provided via a technology package (including patient online portal access, e-mail/secure messaging) compared with current standard discharge teaching methods (verbal/written instructions). Methods: This study used a descriptive comparative design to evaluate the difference between the nonintervention group A and the intervention group B. Patients in group B received additional discharge information via secured e-mail messaging at postdischarge days 2, 6, and 10. Two validated tools, Readiness for Hospital Discharge Form and Post-Discharge Coping Difficulty Scale, were used. Results: One hundred patients were recruited for the study, but the final number of complete data sets collected was 86—42 in group A and 44 in group B. There was no statistically significant difference between the groups in discharge readiness. There was a significant difference in coping scores between the 2 groups, with the technology group exhibiting higher coping. Conclusions: New technology affords new options to improve discharge readiness and contribute to positive patient coping after stroke. The researchers hope that this study will contribute to the growing body of evidence showing success using aspects of technology to enhance discharge teaching and follow-up after discharge.

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