Internet-Based Prep May Help Youths Before Tonsillectomy

March 7, 2008

Teenagers and preteens who prepared for an upcoming tonsillectomy by using an Internet program had improved knowledge acquisition scores and satisfaction with their method of preparation, compared to youths who attended a standard preparation program at the hospital before the surgery, according to research published in the February AORN Journal.

FRIDAY, March 7 (HealthDay News) -- Teenagers and preteens who prepared for an upcoming tonsillectomy by using an Internet program had improved knowledge acquisition scores and satisfaction with their method of preparation, compared to youths who attended a standard preparation program at the hospital before the surgery, according to research published in the February AORN Journal.

Susan O'Conner-Von, of the University of Minnesota in Minneapolis, analyzed data from 66 adolescents who were randomized to use the Internet program or the hospital program prior to their surgery. Because a large number -- 24 -- ultimately used neither, the researcher created a non-treatment group.

Users of the Internet program had significantly higher knowledge acquisition scores and satisfaction with method of preparation, and their parents were more satisfied with the method. There was no significant difference in preoperative anxiety scores for patients or parents or postoperative pain scores, the report indicates.

"Availability of an Internet teaching program allows the patient the freedom to review the program before the day of surgery. Adolescents in this study reported their familiarity with this method of education; described viewing the Internet program several times at their convenience before the surgical procedure; (and) liked the accessibility of the Internet program, which increased their control over the information they viewed and the timing and processing of information relevant to their surgery," the author writes. "It is vitally important that adolescents be offered educational resources and methods of presurgery preparation that are effective, inviting, and meet their unique needs."

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