04 May 2017 Volume :5 Issue :24

UKZN Anaesthesiologist Wins Prestigious Book Prize

UKZN Anaesthesiologist Wins Prestigious Book Prize
Dr Pooveshni Govender.

UKZN’s Dr Pooveshni Govender has been awarded the 2017 Tamara Burchard Book Prize by the South African Society of Anaesthesiologists (SASA) for the best original article published in the SA Journal of Anaesthesia and Analgesia (SAJAA).

‘This prize was totally unexpected. I didn’t know my work was even being considered,’ said Govender.

Govender (31), an Anaesthesiology Consultant in the Department of Anaesthetics at UKZN who is currently working at Inkosi Albert Luthuli Central Hospital as a Specialist Anaesthesiologist, completed her Fellowship in Anaesthesiology FCA (SA) in October 2015 and her Masters in Medicine in April 2016.

Her winning article in the SAJAA - which receives submissions for publication from authors nationally and internationally - was titled: “Predictors of Peri-Operative Risk Acceptance by South African Vascular Surgery Patients at a Tertiary Level Hospital”.

Govender’s article is based on a prospective correlational study she conducted as part of her Masters in Medicine which she was awarded in April 2016 from UKZN.  She was supervised by Professor Bruce Biccard and Professor David Spurrett.

This is the first study of South African surgical patients to assess the proportional contribution of predicted risk, pain and impulsivity on a patient’s acceptance of peri-operative risk.  

The study examined predictors of peri-operative risk acceptance by South African vascular surgery patients at Inkosi Albert Luthuli Central hospital in Durban.

It is well known that vascular surgical patients have an elevated cardiac risk following non-cardiac surgery.  The decision whether to proceed with surgery is multidimensional as decision-making is a cognitive process that requires reflection on the consequences of a choice and deliberation on alternatives and contemplation of future outcomes. Patient autonomy and readiness to give informed consent for surgery are affected by several factors.

Sixty patients were prospectively recruited by convenience sampling from the Inkosi Albert Luthuli Central Hospital’s vascular surgery clinic in Durban between April 2014 and June 2014. Written informed consent was obtained.

Patients completed a questionnaire which documented demographics, pain assessment, impulsivity screen (Barratt Impulsiveness Scale 11), patients’ perception of surgery, predicted peri-operative risk (South African Vascular Surgical Cardiac Risk Index) and acceptance of peri-operative risk. The results demonstrated that the patients’ perception of the benefits of surgery (ß 0.36, 95% CI 0.14–0.70, p = 0.005) was the only predictor of peri-operative risk acceptance. The associations between the other potential predictors and the outcome were insignificant.

Discussing how to write a good article, Govender said it is important for writers to establish what they are passionate about and surround themselves with people equally enthusiastic and committed. ‘The rest should fall into place because all you can really do is to give of your best and aim to reach your potential’.

‘I had the privilege of working with two phenomenal supervisors and all credit goes to them as they were great mentors. This project helped me realise that collaborative research in perioperative medicine is pivotal to improving public health. It is also something that I’d like to pursue in the future.’

In her spare time Govender enjoys travelling and being with her family.

Lihle Sosibo

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