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Pellino Teresa; Tluczek, Audrey; Collins, Mary; Trimborn, Sharon; Norwick, Heidi; Engelke, Zeena Kies; Broad, Judith
Orthopaedic Nursing: July-August 1998


To examine whether patients who received an empowerment model of education for preoperative orthopaedic teaching had improved outcomes compared to patients who received the traditional education.


An experimental (empowerment teaching method) group vs. comparison (traditional teaching method) group posttest design.


Seventy-four patients undergoing elective orthopaedic surgery.


Following the preoperative teaching session, patients in both groups completed a questionnaire designed to measure their perceptions of the teaching (empowerment) and self-efficacy (belief in their ability to carry out perioperative tasks). A chart audit and phone interview was done after discharge to assess length of stay, pain management, complications, and patient perceptions of the ability to complete perioperative tasks.


Patients in the empowerment group felt the educational approach was more empowering and had significantly higher self-efficacy scores than those in the traditional teaching group. There was much less variation in empowerment and self-efficacy scores in the empowerment group. The empowerment group reported feeling greater confidence in performing perioperative tasks. There were no differences in length of stay, complications or pain control.


Use of an empowerment teaching approach enabled patients to become more confident in their ability to carry out perioperative tasks and become a more integral part of the preoperative teaching process.

Implications for Nursing Research

The theoretical model will be used to structure other educational programs and guide research. More sensitive measures of complications and pain control should be considered for future studies.

© 1998 National Association of Orthopaedic Nurses