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Transplant Proc. 2008 Jul-Aug;40(6):1983-5. doi: 10.1016/j.transproceed.2008.05.066.

The "You Are Not Alone" care program for liver transplantation.

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  • 1U.O. Chirurgia Generale e Trapianti di Fegato, Azienda Ospedaliero-Universitaria Pisana Pisa, Italy.


Current clinical practice is based on the principles of efficacy, appropriateness, efficiency, quality, and safety. Compliance with these tenets requires experienced medical and nursing staff, and active participation of patients and their families in the planned therapeutic program. To match patients' expectations on quality and safety of care and spur active participation in the transplant care process, we set up an integrated, multiphase, multidisciplinary care program devoted to liver transplantation (LT) candidates, engrafted patients, and their families: the "Non Sei Solo" care program (You Are Not Alone). The basic principle of the care program was that, to provide efficient and effective education to their patients, health care professionals need to learn how to teach and what to teach, acquire successful communication skills, and monitor the process of education. The methodology encompassed 5 distinct phases: phase 1, exploration of patients' needs, by means of a questionnaire devoted to waitlisted and engrafted patients and their care givers; and phase 2, creation of 16 patient-oriented educational brochures directed to patients and their families. Once created, the educational brochures were presented, discussed, and amended during a consensus meeting involving all transplantation nurses and physicians (phase 3). To acquire the necessary skills and ease communication with patients, the transplantation nurses, physicians, surgeons, and anesthesiologists attended a 6-month counseling course under the tutorial of an expert counselor (phase 4). Finally, in June 2007 the program started officially with monthly meetings with patients and their families, guided hospital tours on patient request, and activation of a toll-free phone number to provide support to patients and answer their questions.

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