Patient Education in Neurosurgery: Part 2 of a Systematic Review

Nathan A. Shlobin, Jeffrey R. Clark, Steven C. Hoffman, Benjamin S. Hopkins, Kartik Kesavabhotla, Nader S. Dahdaleh*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

23 Scopus citations


Background: Increasing focus has been placed on patient education to optimize care. In the second part of a 2-part systematic review, we characterize the scope of interventions specifically created to improve neurosurgery patient education, assess the effectiveness of these interventions, and extract features of existing interventions that may be incorporated into future patient education interventions. Our findings may help promote the creation of effective, patient-centered educational interventions. Methods: A 2-part systematic review was conducted using the PubMed, Embase, and Scopus databases. Titles and abstracts were read and selected for full text review. Studies meeting prespecified inclusion criteria were reviewed in full and analyzed for study design, aim, population, interventions, and outcomes. Results: Of 1617 resultant articles, 33 were included. Print materials, electronic materials, models, and interventions using multiple modalities improved patient knowledge, decreased anxiety, and increased satisfaction. Electronic materials were preferred. Interventions using multiple modalities engaging multiple sensory systems were reported most beneficial. Video was rated the most effective medium for reinforcing spoken conversation between neurosurgeons and patients. Three-dimensional models decreased the time required for preoperative patient conversation but could be perceived as emotionally confronting. Virtual reality was preferred to patient models. Conclusions: Electronic interventions using multiple modalities in concert with each other may be most effective. Interventions should incorporate baseline knowledge and health literacy and address patient concerns and needs in a manner that is valid cross-contextually, uses clear communication, and is continuous. These interventions will improve the patient-friendliness of discussions with patients.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)190-201.e1
JournalWorld neurosurgery
StatePublished - Mar 2021


  • Health literacy
  • Informed consent
  • Neurologic surgery
  • Neurosurgery
  • Patient education

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Neurology
  • Surgery


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