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Foot Ankle Int. 2009 Jul;30(7):619-26. doi: 10.3113/FAI.2009.0619.

Improvement in surgical consent with a preoperative multimedia patient education tool: a pilot study.

Erratum in

  • Foot Ankle Int. 2009 Sep;30(9):vi.



Preoperative education and discussion is a crucial part of the surgeon-patient relationship. The purpose of this study was to assess the efficacy of a multimedia education tool to improve patients' understanding when used as an adjunct to the usual verbal consent process regarding first metatarsophalangeal joint (MTPJ) arthrodesis surgery.


Thirty-one patients were prospectively recruited. There were 24 female and seven male patients with an average age of 56 years. Well-rehearsed, standardized and thorough information regarding the surgery, its risks, benefits, and usual post-operative course were supplied verbally to each patient. Patient understanding was then assessed with a condition specific questionnaire. Following this, each completed a multimedia educational program and repeated the questionnaire, including supplementary questions regarding ease of understanding and satisfaction with the two methods.


The patients answered 62% questions correctly before the multimedia presentation compared to 87% after it (p < 0.001). Patients rated the ease of understanding of the multimedia module as a median 9.3 cm along a 10-cm visual analogue scale and 9.1 cm when asked whether it contained the appropriate amount of information to make a decision about surgery. Ninety percent of patients considered that the multimedia tool answered their questions about surgery as well or better than the treating surgeon.


This study demonstrated that incorporation of a computer-based, multimedia education tool into to the surgical consent process improved patient understanding of the risks, benefits and usual postoperative course following first MTPJ arthrodesis surgery.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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