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Am J Ophthalmol. 1979 May;87(5):620-3.

What patients recall of the preoperative discussion after retinal detachment surgery.


We conducted a prospective study to determine the percentage of preoperative information that was retained by 100 patients undergoing a scleral buckling procedure. Each patient received a standardized preoperative discussion regarding the nature of retinal detachment and its management. During the immediate postoperative period, each patient was questioned about the informed consent discussion. Although 97% of the patients acknowledged a thorough preoperative discussion there was a definite disparity between the patients' concept of adequate physician disclosure and the actual retention of the preoperative explanation. Overall retention of preoperative disclosure based on correct answers to 12 questions was only 57%. Few patients, 23%, retained knowledge of surgical risks, and only 61% remembered that a foreign material would be permanently sutured to the eye. When a patient failed to remember the correct answer to a question, more than half of the time he or she denied that information relevant to the question had been discussed. The results of this study indicate that patients retain primarily information that seems to be in favor of their decision to have surgery.

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