Implementing a telehealth prehabilitation education session for patients preparing for major cancer surgery
AuthorWaterland, JL; Chahal, R; Ismail, H; Sinton, C; Riedel, B; Francis, JJ; Denehy, L
Source TitleBMC Health Services Research
AffiliationMelbourne School of Health Sciences
Document TypeJournal Article
CitationsWaterland, J. L., Chahal, R., Ismail, H., Sinton, C., Riedel, B., Francis, J. J. & Denehy, L. (2021). Implementing a telehealth prehabilitation education session for patients preparing for major cancer surgery. BMC HEALTH SERVICES RESEARCH, 21 (1), https://doi.org/10.1186/s12913-021-06437-w.
Access StatusOpen Access
BACKGROUND: Prehabilitation services assist patients in preparing for surgery, yet access to these services are often limited by geographical factors. Enabling rural and regional patients to access specialist surgical prehabilitation support with the use of telehealth technology has the potential to overcome health inequities and improve post-operative outcomes. AIM: To evaluate the current and likely future impact of a telehealth preoperative education package for patients preparing for major abdominal cancer surgery. METHODS: A telehealth alternative to a hospital based pre-operative education session was developed and implemented at a dedicated cancer hospital. Adult patients (≥18 years) scheduled for elective major cancer surgery were offered this telehealth alternative. Impact evaluation was conducted using the RE-AIM framework. RESULTS: To date, 35 participants have consented to participate in the study. Thirty-one participants attended the intervention; 24 (69%) residing in rural or regional areas. Twenty-four (77%) reported that if given a choice they would prefer the online session as opposed to attending the hospital in person. The majority (97%) reported they would recommend the intervention to others preparing for surgery. Session information was recalled by all 26 participants and 77% of participants reported acting on recommendations 2 weeks after the session. Lessons learnt and recommendations for providers implementing similar programs are reported. CONCLUSION: Telehealth alternatives to hospital based pre-operative education are well received by patients preparing for major cancer surgery. We make seven recommendations to improve implementation. Further evaluation of implementation strategies alongside clinical effectiveness in future studies is essential. TRIAL REGISTRATION: ACTRN12620000096954 , 04/02/2020.
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