Comparison of Terminology in Patient Education Booklets for Lumbar Surgery
Adriaan Louw, Ina Diener, Emilio Puentedura

Purpose: To compare the usage of ‘provocative’ terms in two patient education booklets for lumbar surgery. Background: The recently completed FASTER trial failed to support the use of an evidence-based educational booklet to significantly improve postsurgical outcomes over rehabilitation and usual care. The use of a different booklet in another recently completed trial resulted in a significant saving in healthcare utilization; earlier return to work; and greater patient satisfaction with surgery. We propose that the terminology used in these booklets may account for the differing results. Methods: An expert review panel was identified and tasked with identifying and highlight ‘provocative’ words within two patient educational booklets – Booklet A ‘Your Back Operation’ and Booklet B‘Your Nerves are Having Back Surgery’. Reviewers were blinded to title and authorship of the booklets. Data Analysis: Descriptive statistics including means, total scores. Results: Seventeenreviewers from 7 different countries participated and found that Booklet A had almost 3 times as many provocative terms as Booklet B. Booklet A had an average of 67.2 provocative terms per reviewer compared to only 22.6 terms for Booklet B. Conclusions: The findings of this study suggest that use of an educational booklet that minimizes the use of provocative terminology may have the potential to decrease fear, anxiety and patient pain experiences following lumbar surgery. Further research is warranted.

Full Text: PDF     DOI: 10.15640/ijhs.v2n3a5