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Preparing children for outpatient surgery

Ph.D. thesis by Sara Fernandes under my supervision & Francisco Esteves


YEARS: 2009-2013

Creation and testing of Preoperative Educational Materials for pediatric outpatient surgery

Sara Fernandes completed her PhD with a grant from the Portuguese National Foundation for Science and Technology (FCT), focusing on Developing tools to prepare children for surgery and evaluating their effectiveness.  

Her work was exceptional, leading to the creation of various materials such as a board game, booklets, videos, and a multimedia game.

These materials underwent testing, and the findings were published in peer-reviewed articles.

Later, we created a version of the board game edited by “Ideias com História” to be shared with the Hospitals and the Community.   

Software Multimedia


Board game & Booklet

Patrícia Arriaga
Francisco Esteves


  • Fernandes, S., Arriaga, P., & Esteves, F. (2015). Using an educational multimedia application to prepare children for outpatient surgeries. Health Communication, 30 (12), 1190-1200.
  • Fernandes, S., Arriaga, P., & Esteves, F. (2014). Providing preoperative information for children undergoing surgery: a randomized study testing different types of educational material to reduce children’s preoperative worries. Health Education Research, 29 (6), 1058-1076. 
  • Fernandes, S., Arriaga, P. Esteves, F., & Carvalho, H. (2017). Psychometric Assessment of the "Child Surgery Worries Questionnaire" Among Portuguese children. Journal of Clinical Psychology in Medical Settings, 24(3), 289-301. 
  • Arriaga, P., Esteves, F., & Fernandes, S. (2013). Playing for better or for worse? Health and social outcomes with electronic gaming. In M. M. Cruz-Cunha, I. M. Miranda, & I. Gonçalves (Eds.), Handbook of Research on ICTs for Human-Centered Healthcare and Social Care Services (pp. 48-69). Hershey, PA: IGI Global.
  • Fernandes, S., Louceiro, A., Lopes, L. B., Esteves, F., Arriaga, P. (2021). Children’s attitudes and behaviors about oral health and dental practices: A pilot study. Healthcare, 9, 416.
  • Fernandes, S., Arriaga, P., & Esteves, F. (2014). Atitudes infantis face aos cuidados de saúde e perceção de dor: papel mediador dos medos médicos [Children’s attitudes regarding health care and pain perception: the mediator role of medical fears]. Ciência & Saúde Coletiva, 19 (7), 2073-2082.
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