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J Otolaryngol. 1997 Jun;26(3):155-9.

Informed consent in head and neck surgery: how much do patients actually remember?

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  • 1Department of Otolaryngology, Toronto Hospital, University of Toronto, Ontario.

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

This study was conducted to evaluate the effectiveness of informed consent in head and neck surgery by testing patient recall of potential complications from thyroidectomy, parathyroidectomy, and parotidectomy.

DESIGN:

A prospective design was used.

SETTING:

The setting was an academic tertiary care centre.

METHODS:

Fifty-four patients undergoing thyroidectomy, parathyroidectomy, or parotidectomy were consented by verbal contact by the operating surgeon with a specific preoperative checklist of complication and side effects. One week to 2 months after consent, the patients were surveyed for recall of potential complications.

MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES:

Rate of recall was related to various parameters including patient age, sex, level of education, occupation, and length of time from the consent interview to the recall interview.

RESULTS:

The overall recall rate for all procedures was 48%. Those patients who recalled over 50% of the complications were younger (p = .04) and better educated (p = .04). The gender of the patients did not appear to influence recall success (p = 1.00), even when facial scar or paralysis was considered.

CONCLUSION:

A significant relationship exists between education level and patient age and the rate of patient recall of potential complications of surgery.

PMID:
9176798
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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