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Patients’ Experience and Needs During Perioperative Care: A Focus Group Study

Authors Gobbo M, Saldaña R, Rodríguez M, Jiménez J, García-Vega MI, de Pedro JM, Cea-Calvo L

Received 5 March 2020

Accepted for publication 1 May 2020

Published 27 May 2020 Volume 2020:14 Pages 891—902


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single anonymous peer review

Peer reviewer comments 2

Editor who approved publication: Dr Johnny Chen

Milena Gobbo,1 Roberto Saldaña,2 Marcos Rodríguez,3 Javier Jiménez,4 María I García-Vega,5 José M de Pedro,6 Luis Cea-Calvo6

1Positivamente Psychology Center, Madrid, Spain; 2Confederation of Patients with Crohn’s Disease and Ulcerative Colitis, Madrid, Spain; 3General Surgery Department, University Hospital Gregorio Marañón, Madrid, Spain; 4Anesthesiology Department, University Hospital of Getafe, Madrid, Spain; 5Anesthesiology Department, Jiménez Díaz Hospital Foundation, Madrid, Spain; 6Medical Affairs Department, Merck Sharp & Dohme Spain, Madrid, Spain

Correspondence: Milena Gobbo
Positivamente Psychology Center, Av. del Pdte. Carmona, 10 BIS, 1º A, Madrid 28020, Spain

Purpose: Information regarding patients’ needs, fears and experiences/perceptions in the perioperative setting is limited. Through two focus groups, we explored the needs, fears and experiences of patients who had recently undergone, or were scheduled for, surgery under general anaesthesia, with regard to the entire perioperative process.
Materials and Methods: Adults were invited to participate in a focus group if they had (a) undergone abdominal or gynaecological surgery with general anaesthesia in the past 4 months (focus group 1) or (b) been indicated for abdominal or gynaecological surgery and were waiting for the assigned surgery date (focus group 2). Discussions were audio recorded and, through thematic analysis, patients’ needs and experiences/perceptions regarding perioperative surgical stages were obtained/coded. Analysis of code co-occurrence was performed using a codes matrix.
Results: Focus groups consisted of 13 females, 1 male (50% aged > 45 years). The immediate postoperative period generated the highest number of co-occurrences, followed by the indication of surgery. The most frequent code was the need for information, especially at the indication of surgery, the pre-anaesthesia clinic and in the postoperative period. Fears were described particularly at the indication of surgery, the waiting period, the surgical room, anaesthesia induction and the postoperative period, particularly after hospital discharge; pain was cited most commonly in the postoperative period. Stress/anxiety and emotional impact were also cited in the postoperative period including home arrival.
Conclusion: Information collected in these patients’ focus groups should inform future research and healthcare planning. Patients demand receiving more comprehensive and understandable information and more involvement in several steps; this could reduce fears and stress/anxiety described across the perioperative process. Importantly, findings also extend to the postoperative period and home arrival.

Keywords: anaesthesia, experience, focus group, patients, perioperative care, surgery

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