• Preoperative information needs of children undergoing tonsillectomy.

      Buckley, Aoife; Savage, Eileen; General Operating Theatres, South Infirmary Victoria University Hospital, Cork,, Ireland. buckley_aoife@hotmail.com (2012-02-01)
      AIMS AND OBJECTIVES: To identify the information needs of children undergoing tonsillectomy with reference to content of information, method of delivery, information providers and timing of information provision. BACKGROUND: Tonsillectomy can be anxiety provoking for children and preoperative preparation programmes are long recognised to reduce anxiety. However, few have been designed from the perspectives of children and to date little is known about how best to prepare children in terms of what to tell them, how to convey information to them, who can best provide information and what is the best timing for information provision. DESIGN: A qualitative descriptive study. METHOD: Data were collected from nine children (aged 6-9) using interviews supported by a write and draw technique. Data were coded and categorised into themes reflecting content, method, providers and timing of information. RESULTS: Children openly communicated their information needs especially on what to tell them to expect when facing a tonsillectomy. Their principal concerns were about operation procedures, experiencing 'soreness' and discomfort postoperatively and parental presence. Mothers were viewed as best situated to provide them with information. Children were uncertain about what method of information and timing would be most helpful to them. CONCLUSION: Preoperative educational interventions need to take account of children's information needs so that they are prepared for surgery in ways that are meaningful and relevant to them. Future research is needed in this area. RELEVANCE TO CLINICAL PRACTICE: Practical steps towards informing children about having a tonsillectomy include asking them what they need to know and addressing their queries accordingly. Child-centred information leaflets using a question and answer format could also be helpful to children.