Effects of a Standardized Care Protocol for Patients with Degenerative Spine Disease

The Open Nursing Journal 25 Feb 2019 RESEARCH ARTICLE DOI: 10.2174/1874434601913010028



Many patients facing spinal surgery experience fear and anxiety about surgery, anesthesia, risk of postoperative pain or complications, or even death. Spinal surgery patients often experience mobility disorders due to lasting postoperative pain and require aids such as spinal braces, which can induce depression. Alleviating patients’ anxiety and depression during the perioperative period by utilizing consistent and standardized information is required for high-quality care.


We developed and assessed a standardized care protocol for degenerative spinal surgery patients.


The protocol was developed through focus group interviews with spinal surgery patients and the recommendations of an expert panel. Then, a quasi-experimental design was employed to comparatively study patients undergoing spinal surgery. Ninety-eight Patients were assigned to either a treatment group (n = 49) or a control group (n = 49). The treatment group received an intervention based on the newly developed standardized care protocol, while the control group received traditional care. After treatment, participants’ anxiety, depression, uncertainty, and care satisfaction were compared between groups.


Patients who had received the care protocol-based intervention showed lower anxiety, depression, and uncertainty, and higher satisfaction than did those who received traditional care.


The developed care protocol may be useful for reducing anxiety and depression and for improving the healthcare provided to spinal surgery patients, as it involves the proactive dissemination of accurate information throughout the hospitalization process. The protocol also positively affected patients’ uncertainty and satisfaction with their medical care.

Keywords: Education, Nursing, Perioperative Care, Spine, General Surgery, Anxiety, Depression, Hospitalization.
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