Augmented Reality (AR) Enhances the Effectiveness of Lung Expansion in Spinal Surgery Patients -Preliminary Study

Yi-Chun Chen, Man-Ling Lin, Hsiau-Yi Kao, Shu-Yuan Chou, Shu-Chuan Lin, Yu-Cheng Yao, Ying-Ying Yang, Hsiao-Hui Chiu


Background: After spinal surgery, patients often have changes in respiratory system due to general anesthesia. Preoperative respiratory rehabilitation and respiratory muscle training are found to be effective in reducing the postoperative pulmonary complications.

Aim: Comparing the differences in the effects of postoperative lung expansion in patients with spinal surgery by using the conventional paper-based and the application of augmented reality (AR) health education methods, and understanding the acceptance of the use of AR by clinical nursing staff.

Subject and methods: The quasi experiment was adopted; the control group was paper-based conventional health education and the experimental group was AR health education. The Trifflow breathing exercise was taught one day before operation. The frequency of exercise was 5-10 minutes each time and four times a day. The exercise was started from the day before operation and was continued until being discharged from the hospital. The pulmonary capacities were measured one day before the operation and on the day of leaving the hospital. Twenty people were recruited in both groups. There were 20 nursing staff participated in this study in total. The acceptance level of using AR was surveyed by using self-administered structured questionnaire.

Result: In the experimental group, females were accounted for 65%, 55% of them were under 64 years old, and 30% of them with primary education level; in the control group, 85% of them were females, 70% of them were over 65 years old, and 30% with primary education level. The vital capacities measured at the time of discharge comparing with that before the operation were increased in both group, which reached a statistical difference (p=0.001). However, there was no significantly statistical difference between different groups. In terms of AR recognition by nursing staff: 75.0% thought that “the current health education tools are not enough”, 90% agreed that “acceptance of AR by patient and family”, 75% agreed that “the AR used in this health education process is convenient”, “the use of AR in this health education process is interactive”, and “AR health education makes the whole health education process more interesting”. Seventy percent agreed that “I have enough relevant resources to use AR health education”.

Conclusion: Both traditional and AR health education models can improve the pulmonary function of patients, and there were significantly statistical differences. However, nursing staff felt that the current health education tools were not enough and thought that AR was interactive, interesting and convenient.

Recommendation: The AR medical education has the advantages of interactive games and instant feedback. It can be utilized in clinical services to provide nurses with different models of health education.

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International Journal of Studies in Nursing  ISSN 2424-9653 (Print)  ISSN 2529-7317 (Online)

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