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The value of teachable moments in surgical patient care and the supportive role of digital technologies

Lookup NU author(s): Anna Robinson-BarellaORCiD, Bob Slight, Professor Andy HusbandORCiD, Professor Sarah SlightORCiD



This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (CC BY 4.0).


Evidence strongly supports improved outcomes following surgery when patients are more physically active, have better dietary intake, or are generally fitter prior to surgery. Having an operation is a major life event for patients, and many are not educated around what they can do as individuals to aid a speedier and more successful recovery following their operation. What if there was a time point before surgery where clinicians could inspire patients to adjust their lifestyles for the better, in order to see fewer complications after surgery? This is where the concept of teachable moments comes into play.This commentary explores the concept of teachable moments and their value in surgical patient care and discusses the potentially under-utilized opportunities on hand to the surgical multidisciplinary team to remotely support patients using digital health technologies.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Robinson A, Slight R, Husband AK, Slight S

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Perioperative Medicine

Year: 2020

Volume: 9

Online publication date: 04/02/2020

Acceptance date: 16/12/2019

Date deposited: 04/03/2021

ISSN (electronic): 2047-0525

Publisher: BioMed Central Ltd.


DOI: 10.1186/s13741-019-0133-z


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