Purpose Patients undergoing surgery can be impaired in several health-related quality of life areas. As a result, a modern and effective presentation of medical information before elective surgery is of great importance. Thorough preoperative education of the patient could possibly lead to an improvement of postoperative quality of life.
Materials and methods In a prospective randomized study we examined the influence of a preoperative informative video on the postoperative quality of life of patients undergoing elective surgery for inguinal hernia. Quality of life was assessed with a short form questionnaire (SF-36) preoperatively, on the first postoperative day and 3, 6, and 12 months after surgery.
Results From January 2004 until January 2005, 100 patients were included in the study (video group n = 50 patients, control group n = 50 patients). Quality of life was measured higher in the video group soon after surgery and until 3 months afterwards. In the same group other aspects evaluated such as “global health” and “social role” showed higher values postoperatively and resumption of preoperative activities took place earlier. No difference was detectable 6 months after surgery.
Conclusion Informative video presents a modern and cost-effective method for the justified and detailed education of the patient about the several pre-, intra-, and postoperative steps of an elective groin hernia operation. The higher information level and the better conditions of surgical care, as the patients perceive these, lead to a better postoperative quality of life.