Patients undergoing thoracic or lumbar spine surgery often lack confidence with self-care management of symptoms contributing to disability, such as pain, lack of sleep, depression, and immobility. The purpose of this pilot study was to examine whether a targeted motivational interview, focused on evidence-based recommendations to manage postoperative symptoms related to thoracolumbar spine surgery, would improve patient confidence with self-care management of their symptom-related disability. A quasiexperimental, 1-group, pretest-posttest design was used on a convenience sample of 15 adult surgical spine patients at a large university spine center. Level of disability was measured using the Oswestry Disability Index (ODI). Confidence with self-care management of symptom-related disability was measured using the Health Confidence Index (HCI). Paired samples t tests were completed on participants’ preintervention and postintervention scores on the HCI and ODI and on each of the 10 items that the ODI questionnaire addresses. The results of the paired samples t test on participants’ HCI scores showed a statistically significant improvement in participants’ confidence with self-care management of symptom-related disability from pretest (mean [SD], 6.73 [2.12]) to posttest (mean [SD], 8.73 [1.43]), conditions: t14= −3.80, P = .002. Motivational interviewing is a beneficial intervention for health professionals to incorporate into practice to encourage the implementation of various health promoting behaviors that improve confidence with self-care management of symptoms in postoperative thoracolumbar spine patients.
Questions or comments about this article may be directed to Kimberly Scheffel, DNP RN CNRN NE-BC, at firstname.lastname@example.org. She is an Assistant Professor, College of Nursing and Health Professions, Lewis University, Romeoville, IL.
Christina Amidei, PhD RN CNRN CCRN FAAN, is Director of Clinical Research and Research Assistant Professor, Neurological Surgery, Feinberg School of Medicine, Northwestern University, Chicago, IL.
Kathleen A. Fitzgerald, PhD RN, is Associate Professor, College of Nursing and Health Professions, Lewis University, Romeoville, IL.
The authors declare no conflicts of interest.