Timing of preoperative patient teaching


Edith Hunt Raleigh Research Fellow School of Nursing University of Michigan 400 N Ingalls Ann Arbor, Michigan 48109, USA.


With the increasing cost of health care and the growing constraints made by third party payers, in-hospital time for preoperative teaching is quickly being reduced Seventy-two patients attended preoperative instruction either as an inpatient the day before surgery or as an outpatient 4–8 days before surgery Anxiety and knowledge levels were measured before and after class and the evening before surgery No differences were found between the groups on a measure of anxiety levels Both groups demonstrated a moderate anxiety level with no significant change over the testing period Using the knowledge pretest as a covariate, repeated measures analysis of variance suggested the knowledge gained with the class was significantly greater for the outpatient group than the inpatient group (P= 0 018) There was also a significant positive relationship between the knowledge score and knowing someone who had cardiac surgery (t = 2 34, d f = 66, P=0 022) The results suggest that it makes little difference whether patients receive information up to a week before surgery or just the day before, therefore, the more economical preadmission teaching may be the path of choice