Educational Material Preferences in Adult Patients with Peripheral Nerve and Spine Injury
Kate Wan-Chu Chang, MA, MS; Shawn Brown, CMA; Brandon W Smith, MD, MS; Claire Minji Kim, BS; Lynda Yang, MD, PhD
University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI
Educating patients about their condition is challenging. An ineffective education format or setting could lead to misunderstandings and unrealistic expectations, especially in surgical patients. Our prior study showed that a written handout might not be the most effective in educating patients with peripheral nerve condition. This study aimed to investigate surgical vs. non-surgical patients' preference in educational material regarding their peripheral nerve or spine condition.
This cross-sectional survey study recruited adult patients in an interdisciplinary peripheral nerve and spine clinic from 2017-2018. Participants filled out a 10-question survey regarding their preference in format, device, location, and willingness to pay for receiving educational materials on their nerve condition. We applied standard statistics for overall summaries and a subgroup analysis comparing patients' preference difference on educational materials between surgical vs. non-surgical patients.
Ninety patients were included in the study with mean age 51±16 years old; 52% (N=47) were male and 88% (N=79) were Caucasian. Twenty-two patients underwent surgery while 68 were non-surgical patients. There was no demographic difference between surgical vs. non-surgical groups. Overall 79% (N=71) would like to learn more about their condition outside of clinic with majority (61%) preferred reading, compared to viewing videos (17%), interacting with machine/computer (17%), interacting with person (5%), or social media (1%). However, regarding the device on which to receive information, the majority preferred either computer (35%) or mobile phone (33%) to paper (21%). Regarding the setting, 87% of the patients preferred learning at home. The majority (60%) of the patients preferred to spend $0 for educational materials. Furthermore, no preference difference in any category exists between the surgical and non-surgical groups.
Our results demonstrated that peripheral nerve and spine patients preferred to learn about their condition via reading on computers or mobile devices for free at home -- when comparing to video, interaction with machine/computer, interaction with person, or group session. Our finding warrants providing accurate educational materials in a website format for an effective approach in patient education; we hope this approach could also reiterate appropriate patient expectations and increase patient satisfaction for surgical interventions.
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