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Don’t Throw Away the Handout: Efficacy of Patient Education in Pediatric Orthopaedic Trauma

J Pediatr Orthop. 2023 Nov 16. doi: 10.1097/BPO.0000000000002564. Online ahead of print.


BACKGROUND: Printed educational materials (PEMs) have been used for patient education in various settings. The purpose of this study was to determine the readability, understandability, and actionability of trauma-related educational material from the Pediatric Orthopaedic Society of North America (POSNA, Orthokids), as well as determine its efficacy in educating pediatric orthopaedic trauma patients and caregivers.

METHODS: The readability, understandability and actionability of PEMs was assessed using the Patient Education materials Assessment Tool (PEMAT). Five reviewers ranging in experience independently evaluated the educational materials. The efficacy of PEMs was assessed prospectively by randomizing patients into 2 groups. The first group (Education) received the OrthoKids educational material related to the patient’s fracture. The second group (No Education) did not receive the educational material. At the first follow-up visit, parents/guardians in both groups completed surveys. Statistical analyses included descriptive and univariate statistics.

RESULTS: The understandability of PEMs was similar (68% to 74%); however, the educational materials had varying actionability scores ranging from 20% for femoral shaft fractures to 60% for elbow fractures. In total, 101 patients were randomized to assess the efficacy of educational materials (Education=51, No Education=50). There were no significant differences in sex, age, race/ethnicity, and level of education between caregivers in both groups (P > 0.05). Only 61% (31/51) participants in the Education group reported using the educational material; however, 67% to 68% of participants in either group reported wanting PEMs. Participants in the group that did not receive PEMs were significantly more likely to use the internet to find more information (74% vs. 51%, P < 0.05).

CONCLUSIONS: This study suggests that participants that did not receive PEMs were significantly more likely to search the internet for more information. Improving the quality and actionability of educational resources on electronic platforms is needed to improve patient education. A multi-modal approach using PEMs that includes a list of high-quality online sources would likely be most effective in educating pediatric trauma patients and caregivers.


PMID:37970651 | DOI:10.1097/BPO.0000000000002564

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