The importance of patient education is reflected in a recent study that suggests better-informed patients tend to feel better about the outcome of their procedure. The findings reflect previous studies emphasizing the importance of effective communication when it comes to diagnosing and treating various conditions, especially back pain.
The study, taking place at the Hospital for Special Surgery in New York City, involved patients undergoing joint replacement. Some patients received half-hour, face-to-face physical therapy education sessions that focused on what to expect during and after the procedure. Well-informed patients tended to:
- Require fewer PT sessions
- Meet discharge criteria sooner
- Respond better to PT sessions
Group Education vs. Individual Education
While group education classes can provide added comfort and support, some patients benefit more from face-to-face meetings. During individual sessions, patients tend to feel more comfortable expressing concerns and asking questions. Thanks to advances in technology, one-on-one sessions can take the form of:
- Face-to-face meetings
- Access to informative videos
- Informational web portals via mobile devices
Increasing Emotional Confidence
The study found that patients had better outcomes when they had both group sessions and supplementary one-on-one sessions either in person or via internet-connected devices. Some patients may not want to “bother” their board-certified Los Angeles spine surgeon with questions, which can lead to added anxiety. Being encouraged to ask questions and seek added clarity, however, can help patients be more emotionally confident prior to their surgery by understanding what to expect.
Some Patients Need a Comprehensive Overview
No two patients are the same. While some patients may be fine with having a basic comprehension of what to expect before and after spine surgery in Los Angeles, others benefit from the increased clarity that often comes from individual sessions. Well-informed patients often:
- Experience fewer instances of post-surgery depression
- Cooperate better with physical therapists
- Know what to report to their doctor
Many of the patients in the study involving joint replacement who didn’t receive supplemental education believe they would have benefited from such information prior to surgery. Having realistic expectations, regardless of the nature of the procedure, starts with being as informed as possible by asking questions and receiving honest, thorough answers.
If you would like to learn more about spine surgery or are seeking a second opinion, reach out to Dr. Hyun Bae of The Spine Institute Center in Los Angeles. Dr. Bae is a conservative spine surgeon with extensive knowledge in spinal fusion, minimally invasive surgery, and artificial disc replacement. For more information, call (310) 828-7757 and schedule an in-person consultation.