RP patients benefit from longer informed consent discussion

Jul 29, 2010

Radical prostatectomy and other surgical patients who participate in longer (15- to 30-minute) informed consent discussions better understand the proposed operation, according to a recent study.

Radical prostatectomy and other surgical patients who participate in longer (15- to 30-minute) informed consent discussions better understand the proposed operation, according to a recent study.

In addition, researchers found that asking patients to “repeat back” their understanding of the procedure was effective in enhancing patient comprehension of informed consent issues.

"In our study, we found that patients with potential cultural or language difficulties from factors such as race, education, or age may limit informed consent comprehension," said first author Aaron S. Fink, MD, of Emory University School of Medicine, Atlanta. "But all patients benefited from what we found was the strongest influence on patient comprehension-extending the amount of time spent on informed consent discussions, as well as having the patient repeat back their understanding of the proposed procedure."

Researchers identified 575 patients in seven Department of Veterans Affairs medical centers from August 2006 to June 2008. Patients were enrolled in the study if they were scheduled for one of four elective surgical procedures: radical prostatectomy, total hip arthroplasty, carotid endarterectomy, or laparoscopic cholecystectomy. All informed consent discussions were performed using iMedConsent, the VA’s computerized informed consent platform.

While time for consent had the strongest impact on patient comprehension (pppppp

Results of the study appeared in the Journal of the American College of Surgeons (2010; 210:919-26).