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Information needs of Chinese surgical patients on discharge:a comparison of patients’ and nurses’ perceptions

Authors


W.-T. Chien: e-mail: hschien@inet.polyu.edu.hk

Abstract

yiu h.y.m., chien w.-t., lui m.h.-l. & qin b. (2010) Information needs of Chinese surgical patients on discharge: a comparison of patients’ and nurses’ perceptions. Journal of Advanced Nursing67(5), 1041–1052.

Abstract

Aims.  This paper is a report of a descriptive study of Chinese abdominal surgical patients’ and nurses’ perceptions of discharge information needs.

Background.  Discharge from hospital poses a potential threat to surgical patients’ lives because they have to cope in daily life with the consequences of the illness and surgery. Recent studies indicate that nurses often underestimate or inappropriately perceive patients’ discharge information needs. Few studies have examined the discharge information needs of patients who have undergone abdominal surgery, and research in Asian populations is particularly scarce.

Methods.  A descriptive qualitative study was conducted in 2008. Semi-structured interviews were performed with a convenience sample of 16 patients who had undergone an abdominal surgery and their 16 nurses in a regional general hospital in Hong Kong.

Results.  Results of content analysis indicated that to both the surgical patients and their nurses, three similar categories of information needs on discharge were health concerns upon discharge, addressing patients’ information needs, and obstacles that hindered information seeking. Specific needs related to finance, knowledge of illness, psychological support and role of diet and traditional Chinese medicine perceived as important by the patients were underestimated by the surgical nurses and revealed important issues in providing holistic and culture-specific nursing care for surgical patients upon discharge.

Conclusion.  Surgical patients’ information needs on finance, illness condition, psychological support and cultural practices were found not to be accurately and adequately understood by their nurses. Nurses should give culturally specific and appropriate predischarge education in terms of promotion of recovery from surgery, health maintenance practice and psychological support.

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