The comprehensive pre-operative preparation of individuals includes information provision. It has been suggested that effective pre-operative education positively influences an individual's post-operative pain, anxiety and recovery. Information may also empower individuals in their self-management which in turn facilitates recovery. Comprehension of information is central to ensuring consent is informed.36 Key principles of pre-operative education include:36
- consideration of the individual's coping style
- tailored information which suits their general level of comprehension, education and cultural background
- communication of the risks involved in their surgery
- consideration of the timing of education to avoid times of elevated anxiety, such as immediately preceding surgery.
A large gap exists between what research indicates as an increased risk for the surgical candidate who smokes and the education actually provided to these individuals. Pre-operative education on the side effects of smoking and the benefits of smoking cessation has been identified as poorly managed in many instances. While an individual's smoking habits are assessed, responses are not followed up with treatment plans.37
Peri-operative nurses and the SCN are well positioned to support and help people accomplish a smoke-free period before surgical intervention. Suggested strategies include:37
- creating and encouraging a smoking cessation program that begins before the surgical intervention and focuses on education regarding the effects of smoking on surgical outcomes
- providing smokers with knowledge that enables them to make an informed decision about smoking abstinence
- providing this education during the pre-operative period
- undertaking further research to determine if the surgical outcome education provided reduces people's pre-operative and post-operative smoking habits.
Choose a surgical procedure for a person affected by cancer and:
- Outline the information and resources which would be provided in a pre-operative education session
- Role-play the education session with a peer.
Access Taking care of smoker cancer patients: a review and some recommendations(PDF, 85KB)38, and:
- Describe factors influencing a person's attitude to smoking cessation before surgery
- List the reported benefits of smoking cessation before surgery to the individual and the health system.
Appraise your local policy and procedure on smoking cessation pre-operatively and discuss approaches used to facilitate pre-operative cessation or abstinence from smoking.