Smartphone-Based Patient Education in Plastic Surgery

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Abstract

Background

Internet use for health information has dramatically increased in the past decade. Mobile medical applications (MMAs) could be a useful tool to improve postoperative patient education and care. The objective of this study is to evaluate the impact of an MMA on patient care in plastic surgery.

Methods

An MMA was developed to improve postoperative plastic surgery patients care. All patients who underwent surgery at our plastic surgery department between August and November 2014 and were willing to download the MMA were included. Two to 4 weeks after the procedure, the patients were asked to fill a questionnaire that assessed the content, design, and efficacy of the application.

Results

Sixty patients were included. The patients reported that their questions regarding the postoperative management were addressed by the application with a mean score of 4.1 over 5. Most patients would recommend the application to other plastic surgery patients with a mean score of 4.6 over 5. The application prevented 12 patients (20%) from calling the plastic surgeon or the emergency department.

Conclusions

A smartphone application can optimize the plastic surgery patient care. It can provide additional information allowing the patients to get involved in their own medical care.

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