Background. The provision of information to patients is an important aspect of contemporary health care. Limitations in health resources necessitates that the provision of information is carefully planned and culturally specific to maximize the benefits to patients from the resources available. Aim and objectives. The purposes of the study were to recognize Chinese surgical patients' information needs on admission and ascertain why the information is important to assist in understanding how it is used and, therefore, its potential impact. Methods. A descriptive study design was used. A convenience sample of 83 surgical patients took part comprising 51 men and 32 women. An eight-item questionnaire based on the right of patients to information as listed in the Patients' Charter in Hong Kong using a 5-point Likert scale and one open-ended question to comment on why the information was important to them was completed by patients on the day of admission. Results. Patients rated highly the need for all types of information. They rated most highly the need for information about the signs and symptoms indicating postoperative complications and when to seek medical help. Patients did not rate as highly, information regarding why the doctor believes the surgery is important, treatment alternatives and explanation of the procedure. Conclusions. These findings indicate that Chinese patients are desirous of a range of relevant information. Relevance to practice. Nursing staff, in particular, need to consider the 'timeliness' of information and the cultural appropriateness of how information is delivered.
- Information needs
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