Significant others benefit from preoperative information


Dr E. Raleigh, Research Fellow, The University of Michigan School of Nursing Madical Sergical Nursing, 400 N Ingalls, Ann Arbor, MI 48109, USA


Little attention has been given to the preparation of the patient's family prior to surgery, even though nurses’ clinical experience suggests that family members are often more anxious than the patient This study explored the knowledge and anxiety of spouses and significant others of patients preparing for cardiac surgery The subjects were selected by convenience from a preoperahve class offered at the hospital where surgery was to occur Before and after the class, the subjects completed a cardiac-surgery knowledge test and an anxiety test The significant others were significantly more anxious than the patients prior to the dass. The anxiety level of significant others was significantly reduced after the class There were no statistically significant differences between pahents and significant others on the cardiac-surgery knowledge test These results suggest that significant others may benefit from preoperahve instruction