Published online Apr 18, 2015. doi: 10.5312/wjo.v6.i3.360
Peer-review started: September 26, 2014
First decision: October 21, 2014
Revised: December 19, 2014
Accepted: January 15, 2015
Article in press: January 19, 2015
Published online: April 18, 2015
AIM: To determine the preferred mode of travel to the operating theatre for elective orthopaedic patients.
METHODS: Data was collected prospectively over a 2-wk period at an elective Orthopaedic Treatment Centre. Patients were asked to complete a patient satisfaction questionnaire following their surgery on their experience and subsequent preferred mode of transport to theatre. The data was then recorded in a tabulated format and analysed with percentages. Fisher’s exact test was used to determine if there was any statistical association between patients’ preference to walk and various groups; in-patient or day case procedures, and whether patients were < 60 years or > 60 years of age.
RESULTS: Seventy patients (40 females and 30 males) fully completed the questionnaire. In total there were 33 d-cases and 37 in-patients. The spectrum of orthopaedic sub-specialties included was knee (41%), hip (17%), foot and ankle (24%), spine (13%) and upper limb (4%). Patient satisfaction for overall experience of travelling to theatre was either excellent (77%) or good (23%). Following their experience of travelling to theatre, 87% (95%CI: 79%-95%) of the total cohort would have preferred to walk to the operating theatre. There was a statistically significant association (P = 0.003) between patients’ preference to walk and whether they were day-case or in-patients. Similarly, there was a statistically significance association (P = 0.028) between patients’ preference to walk and whether they were < 60 years or > 60 years of age.
CONCLUSION: This study confirms the majority of Orthopaedic elective patients would prefer to walk to theatre, when given the choice and if practically possible.
Core tip: There were previously no studies focusing primarily on how Orthopaedic patients prefer to travel the operating theatre. Questioning unproven and habitual protocols is essential to improve delivery of care. Our study highlights elective orthopaedic patients should predominantly walk to theatre with a nurse to enhance independence, maintain dignity and improve efficiency of the process; however the patient’s autonomy must be respected and pre-operative mobility taken into account.