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Am Heart J. 2007 Oct;154(4):662-8.

Understanding of the benefits of coronary revascularization procedures among patients who are offered such procedures.

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  • 1Primary Care Division, Zablocki VA Medical Center and Division of General Internal Medicine, Department of Medicine, Medical College of Wisconsin, Milwaukee, WI 53295, USA.



To participate meaningfully in decisions regarding invasive procedure use, patients should understand the benefits and risks. Previous work has focused on risks; we assessed patient understanding of the benefits of coronary revascularization procedures.


We interviewed 1650 patients and their treating physicians after elective coronary angiography performed at 3 Veterans Health Administration hospitals and 1 university hospital. We excluded patients for whom the decision to undergo revascularization was made before admission. This report focuses on 633 patients who had been offered coronary artery bypass surgery (CABG, n = 324) or percutaneous coronary interventions (PCIs) and responded to questions about expected benefits. Both patient and physician were asked to report the benefits they expected from revascularization. Forty-nine physicians reported on 490 patients.


Most patients were older (mean age 63.8 years), white (89.4%), and male (77.6%). Most patients expected improved symptoms (83%) and survival (83%). Physician-patient agreement regarding whether survival would improve was no better than chance (kappa = 0.02 for CABG, kappa = -0.01 for PCI, both P > .10). There was also poor agreement regarding whether symptoms were expected to improve, but this was better than chance (kappa = 0.09, P = .01 for CABG; kappa = 0.19, P = .02 for PCI). Physician-patient agreement was poor regardless of patient characteristics.


Patients have more optimistic expectations about benefits of coronary revascularization than the cardiologist offering the procedure. Further research should confirm this finding and clarify how physician-patient disagreement regarding the benefits of coronary revascularization affects patient participation in decision making.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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