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Surg Innov. 2015 Feb;22(1):15-9. doi: 10.1177/1553350614537562. Epub 2014 Jun 5.

The impact of marketing language on patient preference for robot-assisted surgery.

Author information

1
University of Toronto, Toronto, Ontario, Canada.
2
University of Toronto, Toronto, Ontario, Canada University Health Network, Toronto, Ontario, Canada Institute for Clinical Evaluative Sciences, Toronto, Ontario, Canada david.urbach@uhn.ca.

Abstract

Robot-assisted surgery is gaining momentum as a new trend in minimally invasive surgery. With limited evidence supporting its use in place of the far less expensive conventional laparoscopic surgery, it has been suggested that marketing pressure is partly responsible for its widespread adoption. The impact of phrases that promote the novelty of robot-assisted surgery on patient decision making has not been investigated. We conducted a discrete choice experiment to elicit preference of partial colectomy technique for a hypothetical diagnosis of colon cancer. A convenience sample of 38 participants in an ambulatory general surgery clinic consented to participate. Each participant made 2 treatment decisions between robot-assisted surgery and conventional laparoscopic surgery, with robot-assisted surgery described as "innovative" and "state-of-the-art" in one of the decisions (marketing frame), and by a disclosure of the uncertainty of available evidence in the other (evidence-based frame). The magnitude of the framing effect was large with 12 of 38 subjects (31.6%, P = .005) selecting robot-assisted surgery in the marketing frame and not the evidence-based frame. This is the first study to our knowledge to demonstrate that words that highlight novelty have an important influence on patient preference for robot-assisted surgery and that use of more neutral language can mitigate this effect.

KEYWORDS:

business of surgery; evidence-based medicine/surgery; robotic surgery

PMID:
24902683
DOI:
10.1177/1553350614537562
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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