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J Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg. 2009 Jun;38(3):369-74.

Informed consent in rhinoplasty: prospective randomized study of risk recall in patients who are given written disclosure of risks versus traditional oral discussion groups.

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  • 1Division of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery, Department of Surgery, Dalhousie University, Halifax, Nova Scotia.



To determine the effectiveness of providing written information in enhancing patient understanding and retention.


A multicentre prospective randomized study was conducted in university-affiliated ambulatory surgical centres. One hundred consecutive patients seen for rhinoplasty consultation were included. Patients were randomly assigned to (1) those receiving traditional oral dialogue of the surgical risks or (2) those receiving an oral discussion and a written pamphlet outlining the risks of the procedure. Fourteen to 18 days after the consultation, each patient was contacted for an assessment of risk recall.


Overall risk recall was higher in the group that received written information (2.3 vs 1.3 of 5 risks; p < .008). As well, in the group that received a pamphlet, patients with university and postgraduate levels of education had a better rate of recall (p < .05). Female patients in both groups reported higher risk recall (p < .01).


Patient risk recall of rhinoplasty is improved with the addition of written information during the informed consent process. As the process of informed consent plays a very decisive role in facial plastic surgery, enhanced postoperative satisfaction may result from the use of supplemental educational materials.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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