Purpose: This study evaluated an evidence-based education booklet developed for patients undergoing spinal surgery which was used as a treatment intervention in a multi-centre, factorial, randomised controlled trial (FASTER: Function after spinal treatment, exercise and rehabilitation) investigating the post-operative management of spinal surgery patients. This study sought to determine the acceptability and content of the booklet to patients.
Methods: Patients receiving the educational booklet before discharge from hospital as part of the FASTER study were asked to complete an evaluation, which rated the booklet "Your Back Operation" with regard to content, information, usability, etc. using forced and open questions. This assessment was conducted at the same time as the initial 6-week post-operative review performed as part of the larger study.
Results: Therefore, 97% of the 117 trial participants who returned their 6-week evaluation and randomised to receive a booklet returned their questionnaire. The booklet was highly rated receiving an overall rating of 7 or more out of 10 from 101/111 (91%), and high ratings for content, readability and information. The booklet's key messages were clear to the majority of patients; however, many patients highlighted deficiencies with respect to content particularly in relation to wound care and exercise.
Conclusions: Patients valued the booklet and rated its content highly. Many suggested that the booklet be developed further and there was a clear desire for specific exercises to be included even though there is no evidence to support specific exercise prescription.