The Effect of Telenursing on Referral Rates of Patients With Head Trauma and Their Family's Satisfaction After Discharge

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We aimed to assess the effect of telenursing on referral rates of patients with head trauma and their family's satisfaction after discharge. Seventy-two patients with head trauma were randomly allocated to equal intervention and control groups. The caregivers in both groups were provided with 1-hr face-to-face training on patients' home care and educational booklets, 2 days before discharge. The cell phone numbers of the telenurse was given to the caregivers of the intervention group. Then, the patients in the intervention group were followed up every week through phone calls by the telenurse for 12 weeks and the patient status checklists were completed. Caregivers in the intervention group could call the telenurse any time they desired. The health status of the control group was followed once by a phone call after 12 weeks. Data were analyzed using SPSS software, version 19. Ultimately, 33 patients with a mean ± SD age of 31.12 ± 10.83 years were studied in the control group and 35 patients with a mean ± SD age of 34.11 ± 12.34 years were studied in the intervention group (p = .098). The 2 groups differed significantly with respect to referral rates; 39.4% of the participants in the control group referred to physicians whereas only 25.7% of the patients in the intervention group needed to refer to physicians (p = .017). Also, the mean times of referring to a physician differed significantly in both groups. In general, 53.8% of the caregivers were satisfied with the telenursing program. Follow-up programs using telephone calls were effective and would lead to higher caregiver satisfaction.

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