Person-centered Education – I: Patients' learning needs after colorectal cancer surgery

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M. Elisa Castro-Peraza
Nieves Lorenzo-Rocha
Kirsi Johansson
Encarnacion Garzon-Rodriguez
M. Inmaculada Sosa-Alvarez
Remedios Afonso-Martin
Lilisbeth Perestelo-Perez


Objective: The purpose of this study was to describe patients' learning needs after colorectal cancer surgery as part of the development of person-centered education.Methods: Data were collected from a third level university hospital in the Canary Islands using a questionnaire, designed to measure colorectal patients' learning needs, named NECCR. It is a 32-item in 5 factors tool. The NECCR psychometric properties were tested using the Patient Learning Needs Scale as its basis. The questionnaire was completed by 79 patients with a response rate of 92%.Results: Patients felt that the most important information was about illness-related knowledge, improvements in the quality of life and surgical treatment and complications. Patients' learning needs increased with age, decreased with education level and were related to female gender. Women over 60 years old, the less educated and retired respondents had more learning needs.Conclusions: According to the narrative of patients themselves, more information is needed to enable patients to cope at home after discharge following colorectal cancer surgery. Demographic variables such as age, gender and education were clearly related to learning needs. Clinical professionals must therefore be alert in recognizing and evaluating the learning needs of their patients as part of efforts to increase the person-centeredness of clinical services and post-operative follow-up and care. They should pay attention to their own biases and in the education of future professionals about this topic. 

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