How Can an App Facilitate Pre- and Post-Surgical Patient Engagement?

Research Project Summary

How Can An App Facilitate Pre- and Post-Surgical Patient Engagement?

More than half of all surgical complications occur after discharge from the hospital. Yet, very little useful information is given to patients or to their family members to help guide them through post-surgical self-care. The need for accessible, easy-to-understand surgical self-care information is especially acute among low-literacy and underserved populations.

Through interviews with patients from a private and a safety net hospital surgical practice, in Spanish and English, we assessed patient information needs and explored their preferences for e-health information delivery. This project shaped the development of a pre-and post-surgical self-care app for patient use.


QHRC designed and wrote the interview guides in English and Spanish, trained the research team on qualitative interviewing, transcribed and translated all Spanish-language audio, developed the coding framework and coded all transcripts, convened writing groups, and assisted in the write-up and publication of all study results based on the interview data.

“We recognize that to engage patients in the use of mobile technology, we must first define and understand what patient engagement means to surgical patients. In this regard, it was essential to perform qualitative analysis.”

James Suliburk, MD, FACS

Client Team


James W. Suliburk, MD, FACS
Associate Professor and Chief Section of Endocrine Surgery
Baylor College of Medicine


Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation


A Novel Surgical Patient Engagement Model: A Qualitative Study of Postoperative Patients
PubMed ID: 3187431

Use of Game Theory to model patient engagement after surgery: a qualitative analysis
PubMed ID: 29229155

Overview of Qualitative Research Performed

Official Project Title

Leveraging Mobile Techonlogy to Improve Surgical Care Outcomes


  • Data Collection
  • Data Analysis
  • Writing Support
  • Research Design


  • Semi-Structured Interviews
  • Conventional Content Analysis
  • Grounded Theory

Research Area

  • Academic Research
  • Bilingual Research