Reducing anxiety by preoperative education: Make the future familiar

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    Abstract

    Pre-operative education is widely used by occupational therapists all over the world to help patients prepare for their impending surgery and post-operative needs. The purpose of this research was to gain understanding of how the pre-operative education process is beneficial in reducing anxiety for patients awaiting a total hip replacement provided in one National Health Service Trust in England. The participants in this study were a convenient sample of health care professionals who presented information on pre-operative education during a nine-month data collection period, and a sample of patients who attended the programme. Data were collected from observing five pre-operative education programmes, 26 written patient evaluations, 16 interviews with seven presenters of the education, observation of three team meetings, 20 interviews with 10 patients, and documentation pertaining to the programme. From the results it seems that patient education can reduce anxiety by making the unknown familiar. Such familiarity can be achieved in three ways by: providing an understanding of the experiences patients will encounter during and after surgery; giving an opportunity to meet the staff that will be caring for them; and familiarizing patients with the environments they will meet when in hospital. Major limitations of the study were not being able to control for researcher bias and not providing a standardized instrument to collect data. It is recommended that further research be carried out to understand the dynamics between patient education and the reduction of anxiety among patients undergoing hip replacements.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)278-293
    Number of pages16
    JournalOccupational Therapy International
    Volume10
    Issue number4
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 2003

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