An Observational Study of Postoperative Handover in Anesthetic Clinics; The Content of Verbal Information and Factors Influencing Receiver Memory

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The aim was to examine the handover process in the postanesthesia care unit, how much the receiver remembered, and what factors influenced memory.


An observational study with a descriptive and correlational design.


A total of 73 handovers were investigated, and data were collected using observation, audiotape recordings of the handovers, and the patient's anesthetic record.


Interruptions occurred at 56 (77%) handovers and the sender expressed unclear information at 51 (70%) handovers. The mean of the verbally given information remembered by the receivers was 47%; the items mostly likely not to be remembered were the drugs used during anesthesia. A linear generalized estimating equation was used and identified variables that were significantly associated with receivers' retention of information were structure and handover duration.


Lack of structure and long duration of the verbal handover decrease how much the receiver will remember.

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