February 13, 2013
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Patient education improved satisfaction after surgery for ankle fracture

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Educational handouts improved early satisfaction in patients who underwent surgery for ankle fractures, according to this study from Canadian researchers.

The researchers analyzed 40 patients who had operative treatment for ankle fractures and were randomized to either an enhanced information group that received handouts with information from the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons covering postoperative ankle fracture treatment and a pamphlet outlining standard physiotherapy at the institution or a standard group that did not receive the handouts. According to their study abstract, the investigators conducted clinical and radiographic follow-up of the patients for 3 months. The patients completed the Olerud-Molander Questionnaire and answered two additional questions regarding their satisfaction.

Compared with the standard group, patients who received the educational information were more satisfied at 3 months and had improved ability for work and activity at 6 weeks. However, these benefits subsided by 3 months. There were no differences in postoperative complications.

“While they do not seem to have a sustained impact on postoperative outcomes, handouts may enhance the interaction between staff and patient at postoperative visits, improving patient satisfaction,” the authors wrote in their study.