The Misunderstood Anesthesiologist: A Prospective Cohort Study Comparing the Effectiveness of Educational Media in Preoperative Assessment Clinics 
Opportunity Details
Position type: Patient Partner
Number of positions available: 1
Organization: University of Saskatchewan, Provincial Department of Anesthesiology
Role overview: Preoperative Assessment Clinics (PACs) play a vital role in educating patients about anesthesia and what will happen the day of their surgery. Pre-anesthetic educational material such as pamphlets, educational videos, and online resources has been shown to increase patient satisfaction, facilitate discussions regarding patient anesthetic expectations, and ease memorization burden. In short, patients feel more like a member of their healthcare team and reflect on their anesthetic experience more fondly when they receive educational resources prior to their surgery. While attempts have been made to improve patient anesthetic education, knowledge retention is often poor, especially regarding the understanding of the role of anesthesiologists. 

Through this project, we aim to determine the mode of education (i.e., written, audiovisual, or interactive) that is most effective at conveying the role of anesthesiologists within the healthcare team. We plan on designing a pamphlet, educational video, and interactive website that all focus on teaching patients what anesthesiologists do and what role they play in a patient’s healthcare team. As a patient partner, your insight into the most useful and long-lasting forms of patient education will be invaluable to our study design. Your perception of optimal survey distribution strategies will also be incorporated into our study design. We know that having an operation can be stressful, so we want to encourage participation in the study throughout the perioperative period in the most respectful and engaging way possible.

Overall, your role on our research team would be to guide us in developing and distributing educational materials in a way that empowers patients to learn about their own healthcare team and better understand that role that anesthesiologists play within it. This includes participating in the study design planning, creative design of the educational materials, and development of the surveys used to gauge patient reception of and knowledge retention from these educational materials. Opportunities may also arise to contribute to the academic writing and distribution of our final results. 
Knowledge, experience, skills required: The ideal patient partner for this project will have had surgery that required a preoperative assessment conducted at a PAC. They should be generally familiar with the role that anesthesiologists play in a PAC as well as in the perioperative period, though we are happy to provide further educational resources around this topic as needed.

Because this project relies on the patient partner for input into survey and educational material design, the ideal patient partner will have experience in designing surveys, or at least be familiar with completing online surveys. They will also ideally be keen to participate in a creative aspect, helping with the wording, visual design, and overall aesthetic planning of our educational material to appeal to the general patient public. Specific skills in graphic/website design or video production would be helpful but are not necessarily required.

Finally, if the patient partner is interested in academic writing, they should have some experience with academic research writing or formatting. They do not need to have published academic research previously. We are hoping to write the final paper in a way that is understandable by the general patient public, so an interest in the editing of this study’s manuscript would be ideal

Time commitment: This study will ideally take place over the course of 2024. Ethics and operational approval applications will be completed in late 2023/early 2024, with pamphlet creation, video production, and website design all occurring from January to about May/June of 2024. We plan to collect data from PAC patients over the summer months (approximately June to August of 2024). Data analysis and manuscript creation will then take place during autumn/winter of 2024 and onward.

Because our study requires the creation and distribution of educational material and surveys that appeal to a broad patient audience, our ideal patient partner would be moderately to heavily involved in the creation of the educational material and surveys, both of which will be occurring from approximately January to May/June of 2024. It is difficult to define a specific time commitment, but during this creative phase of the project, the patient partner can likely expect to be involved in the project approximately 1-3 hours per week.

Once data has been collected and we enter the manuscript-writing phase of the study, the level of patient partner participation is flexible; we are happy to accommodate whatever level of participation you wish during this phase, depending on your interest in academic research publication
Please note that these are approximate timelines. Given the nature of academic research and media production, it is possible that creation of the educational materials may take longer than expected, thereby pushing the data collection phase closer to autumn/winter of 2024."
Location: Saskatoon or Virtual.
What you can expect from the research team: Our research team is comprised of a staff anesthesiologist, two anesthesiology residents, a statistician, and multiple other research support staff. Our team is also part of a larger community engagement committee that includes many more anesthesiology staff and residents, all of whom would be very happy to support you throughout this project.
All members of the research team will be available for contact via email, and we plan to have regular check-ins either in-person or via Zoom. We will also include you in our research team WhatsApp group for less formal communication. We aim to incorporate your personal schedule into our meeting planning to ensure you are present and able to participate in all of our key group meetings. 
With respect to survey and educational media design, Dr. Kiyana Ghavami, one of our anesthesiology residents, will be leading the development of the educational video and website, while Dr. Allan Meldrum, another anesthesiology resident, will be leading the survey and pamphlet development. They are both happy to provide you with resources to advance your knowledge, as well as learn from you if you have previous experience in these areas.

Because this is inherently a very patient-oriented project, we are all very interested in the patient perspective that you will bring to this study. We want to ensure that the dynamics of our research team allow you to participate in a way that works for you. If you require additional supports throughout this project, please feel free to contact us with your requests or concerns and we will gladly do everything we can to meet your needs.        
Supports available to participate: Honoraria.
Submission of interest deadline: December 1, 2023
Contact information
Contact name:  Allan Meldrum
Email address:
Phone number: 236-808-6001
Interested in this opportunity? 

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