Background Good patient information has shown to improve surgical outcomes. In this study we explore what kind of pre-surgical information patients need and if the provision of a 360˚ video of a surgical procedure can be of added value to the information provided by the hospital. Methods An explorative qualitative study using semi-structured interviews on information needs was conducted among 17 inguinal hernia patients to gain more insight in the patients’ present surgical information needs. Patients either were planned to receive or already had received a surgical procedure. Questions were asked about the current information provision and, after being shown a 360˚ video of the surgery, whether this would be of added value. Results Of the total group of 17 patients (mean age 56, interquartile range 45–64) 16 were male and one was female. Most had no previous experience with virtual reality (14/17), already had undergone a surgical procedure (11/17). Patient information needs were all about “seeing” which can be viewed from three different perspectives [1] being seen as a unique person in the treatment process, [2] being seen as a partner, and [3] seeing is understanding. Patients wanted the contact with the doctor to be more personal, with the possibility to see the anesthetist in person, the surgeon to see their wound in the recovery phase, and to receive personal answers to questions about their specific situation. Patients found the 360-video not fearsome, and believed that visual content could be beneficial as it appeals more to their imagination than written or oral information and increases their understanding. It also provided them with a better understanding of their treatment options, their pre-, peri-, and postsurgical procedures and identification of the cause of post-operative side effects. Conclusion To address patients’ information needs, complementary tools or services are needed that increase personal contact as well as tailor it to individual patient’s needs. Even though video-apps are a partial alternative, hospitals should still offer patients the possibility of having face-to-face meetings with physicians as this is highly valued by patients and leads to increased trust in physicians’ performance.

dx.doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0240433, hdl.handle.net/1765/133400
PLoS ONE
Department of Otorhinolaryngology

van Stralen, K.J, Ruijter, L, Frissen, J, Den Boer, R.H., Struben, V.M.D, & van Oostveen, C.J. (2020). Patients want to be seen: The top 3 information needs of patients with inguinal hernia. PLoS ONE, 10(15). doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0240433