Effects of Educational Intervention on State Anxiety and Pain in People Undergoing Spinal Surgery: A Randomized Controlled Trial

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Preoperative educational intervention for anxiety and pain affects patients undergoing spinal surgery. The effects, however, have never been examined using randomized controlled designs. To investigate the effects of education on anxiety and pain for patients undergoing spinal surgery, a randomized trial with block design was used. Patients were recruited from a medical center in central Taiwan. We invited 90 patients to participate in this study. Inclusion criteria were (a) age ≥20 years, (b) voluntary participation, (c) able to understand Taiwanese Mandarin Chinese or Taiwanese, and (4) no hearing or vision impairments after using aids. Patients (n = 86) undergoing lumbar spinal surgery were randomized into either an Intervention group (using educational intervention; n = 43) or a Control group (n = 43); four patients voluntarily dropped out after surgery (one in Intervention group; three in Control group). Patients had their anxiety (using the State-Trait Anxiety Inventory; STAI) and pain (using a visual analog scale) measured the day before surgery, 30 minutes before surgery, and the day after surgery. After controlling for demographics, the adjusted anxiety and pain levels were significantly lower for the Intervention group: mean STAI scores were 52.67 at baseline and 47.54 at 30 minutes before surgery (p< .001); mean pain scores were 6.07 at baseline and 5.28 on day after surgery (p< .001). Preoperative educational intervention is effective in informing patients undergoing spinal surgery that can lead to a reduction in pain, anxiety, and fear postoperatively.HighlightsEducation reduces preoperative anxiety for people undergoing spinal surgery.Education inhibits postoperative pain for people undergoing spinal surgery.The above effects were found in subjective measures but not objective measures.Education should be adopted before rather than after the surgery.

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