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Neurosurgical patients need special care, say PGI experts

Life of many people changes after they undergo neurosurgery. It is one of the most complex surgeries leaving people with several co-morbidities at times.

punjab Updated: Oct 13, 2016 12:18 IST
Tanbir Dhaliwal
Tanbir Dhaliwal
Hindustan Times

Life of many people changes after they undergo neurosurgery. It is one of the most complex surgeries leaving people with several co-morbidities at times. A study conducted by Postgraduate Institute of Medical Education and Research (PGIMER) found that 31% neurosurgical patients enrolled for the study were fighting with depression and 36.2% patients had to quit their job after undergoing neurosurgery. The aim of the study was to evaluate the quality of life of neurosurgical patients and the problems faced by them at home.

The experts also wanted to determine the degree of compliance of neurosurgery patients and their family caregivers with the discharge advice given by the consultants.

The study, ‘comprehension and compliance with the discharge advice and quality of life at home among the postoperative neurosurgery patients discharged from PGIMER, Chandigarh, India’, got published in Asian Journal of Neurosurgery.

Overall 58 patients and their caregivers were interviewed at home.

The condition of 74.1% patients improved after the operation. Depression was reported in 31% of the patients. Many (36.2%) patients had to quit their job due to the disease.

Most of the patients were able to perform daily life activities on their own (42.1%) or with some assistance (45.6%) from their family members.

Few of them (12.3%) were completely dependent on their caregivers.

Majority of the patients (71.94%) felt that they were not well and lacked energy, the study mentions.

Among the other problems which arise after the operation, bed sore was reported by almost 14% of the cases, urinary tract infections (UTIs) were reported by 12%, and pneumonia among 10% of the patients.

Loss of sensation in the body parts was a cause of worry for 22% of the patients. Anxiety was also reported by 41% of the cases. There were other problems reported as well.

“Comprehension and compliance for the instructions like physiotherapy was found to be very poor. Patients who could not follow the instructions given for physiotherapy revealed a range of problems,” reads the study.

“Physiotherapy people in PGIMER never check properly. They shirk work. A private physiotherapist takes ‘200-300 per hour. We are advised physiotherapy for 6 hours at least. This costs Rs 30,000/month, which is nearly impossible,” reads a quote mentioned in the study.

Neurosurgical patients require special care not only in the hospital but also after their discharge from the hospital. Comprehension and compliance to the instructions given by the doctors at the time of discharge is important in home care of these patients, as many such patients suffer from various co-morbidities.

“It is in the long term that the true complexity and impact of operations become apparent. After operation, such patients are likely to have a range of physical, emotional, cognitive, behavioral, and social problems, which may result in difficulties for both patients and their family caregivers,” concludes the study.

First Published: Oct 13, 2016 12:17 IST