An insight into the preoperative experiences of Ghanaian general surgical patients
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The unknown outcome of surgery has always been a source of anxiety for patients and their relatives. However, the experiences of Ghanaian surgical patients have not been adequately explored. This study sought to have an in-depth exploration of the preoperative experiences of Ghanaian general surgical patients to inform effective preoperative care. The study employed an ethnographic design and was conducted at two hospitals in Accra. Thirteen general surgical patients were purposively recruited and interviewed. Data analysis occurred concurrently and themes that emerged included reaction to impending surgery with subthemes of inappropriate disclosure, fear of death, readiness for surgery, and effect of waiting in the theatre. Also, the theme information gap had subthemes of preoperative care, expectations at the theatre, and undue delays. The study emphasized the need for health professionals to provide effective education to the public and patients, on surgery and its effects, to curb negative perceptions about surgery.