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J Am Coll Surg. 2017 May;224(5):771-778.e4. doi: 10.1016/j.jamcollsurg.2017.01.059. Epub 2017 Feb 11.

Public Perceptions of Overlapping Surgery.

Author information

1
Department of Surgery, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA. Electronic address: mkent@bidmc.harvard.edu.
2
Department of Surgery, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA.
3
Department of Medicine, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA.
4
Department of Surgery, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA; Department of Psychiatry, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Overlapping surgery is highly contentious, both in terms of the safety of the practice and the degree to which patients should be informed. However, no study has surveyed attitudes of the general public toward overlapping surgery and willingness to consent to such a procedure.

STUDY DESIGN:

A survey on overlapping surgery was completed by participants using Amazon Mechanical Turk, an online crowd-sourcing worksite. Responders completed a 51-question survey on their knowledge of overlapping surgery, expectations on disclosure during the informed consent process, and their willingness to participate in such a procedure. In addition, responders completed the Health Care System Distrust Scale.

RESULTS:

The survey was completed by 1,454 respondents. Median age was 33 years (range 21 to 74 years). Only 56 respondents (3.9%) had any knowledge of the practice of overlapping surgery. Overall, 440 respondents (31%) supported or strongly supported this practice. The majority of respondents believed that the attending surgeon should inform them in advance of overlapping surgery (94.7%), define what the critical components of the operation are (95.6%), and document what portion of the operation he or she was present for (91.5%).

CONCLUSIONS:

A small minority of the general public is aware of the practice of overlapping surgery. The majority of responders were not supportive of the practice, although would consider it acceptable in specific circumstances. However, responders consistently reported that the practice of overlapping surgery should be disclosed during the informed consent process.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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