Compassion, communication, and the perception of control: a mixed methods study to investigate patients’ perspectives on clinical practices for alleviating distress and promoting empowerment during awake craniotomies

Dana Dharmakaya Colgan, Ashely Eddy, Margarita Aulet-Leon, Kaylie Green, Betts Peters, Robert Shangraw, Seunggu Jude Han, Ahmed Raslan, Barry Oken

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Purpose: To inquire into clinical practices perceived to mitigate patients’ intraoperative distress during awake craniotomies. Methods: This mixed-methods study involved administration of Amsterdam Preoperative Anxiety and Information Scale and PTSD Checklist prior to the awake craniotomy to evaluate anxiety and information-seeking related to the procedure and symptoms of PTSD. Generalized Anxiety Disorder Scale and Depression Module of the Patient Health Questionnaire were administered before and after the procedure to evaluate generalized anxiety and depression. Patient interviews were conducted 2-weeks postprocedure and included a novel set of patient experience scales to assess patients’ recollection of intraoperative pain, overall distress, anxiety, distress due to noise, perception of empowerment, perception of being well-prepared, overall satisfaction with anaesthesia management, and overall satisfaction with the procedure. Qualitative data were analysed using conventional content analysis. Results: Participants (n = 14) had undergone an awake craniotomy for tissue resection due to primary brain tumours or medically-refractory focal epilepsy. Validated self-report questionnaires demonstrated reduced levels of generalized anxiety (pre mean = 8.66; SD = 6.41; post mean= 4.36; SD = 4.24) following the awake craniotomy. Postprocedure interviews revealed very high satisfaction with the awake craniotomy and anaesthesia management and minimal levels of intraoperative pain, anxiety, and distress. The most stressful aspects of the procedure included global recognition of medical diagnosis, anxiety provoked by unfamiliar sights, sounds, and sensations, a perception of a lack of information or misinformation, and long periods of immobility. Important factors in alleviating intraoperative distress included the medical team’s ability to promote patient perceptions of control, establish compassionate relationships, address unfamiliar intraoperative sensations, and deliver effective anaesthesia management. Conclusion: Compassion, communication, and patient perception of control were critical in mitigating intraoperative distress. Clinical practice recommendations with implications for all clinicians involved in patient care during awake craniotomies are provided. Use of these interventions and strategies to reduce distress are important to holistic patient care and patient experiences of care and may improve the likelihood of optimal brain mapping procedures to improve clinical outcomes during awake craniotomies.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalBritish Journal of Neurosurgery
DOIs
StateAccepted/In press - 2021

Keywords

  • Awake craniotomy
  • functional localization
  • intracranial mapping
  • patient-centred care
  • qualitative research

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Clinical Neurology

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