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The use of multimedia as an adjunct to the informed consent process for ankle ligament reconstruction surgery

Eldridge Batuyong, Christopher Birks, Andrew D Beischer
Foot & Ankle Specialist 2012, 5 (3): 150-9

BACKGROUND: Obtaining "informed consent" is an integral aspect of surgery that can be fraught with difficulty. This study assessed the efficacy of a multimedia education tool in improving patients' understanding when used as an adjunct to the traditional verbal consent process regarding ankle lateral ligament reconstruction surgery.

METHODS: A total of 56 patients (28 males and 28 females) were recruited with a mean age of 36 years. A standardized verbal discussion regarding surgical treatment was provided to each patient. Understanding was then assessed using a knowledge questionnaire. Subsequently, each patient observed a multimedia educational program following which the knowledge questionnaire was repeated. Additional supplementary questions were then given regarding the ease of understanding and satisfaction with the 2 methods of education delivery.

RESULTS: The patients answered 75% of the questions correctly before the multimedia module compared with 88% after it (P < .001). Patients rated the ease of understanding and the amount of information provided by the module highly (9.5 cm and 9.0 cm on a 10-cm Visual Analogue Scale scale, respectively), and 61% of patients considered that the multimedia tool performed as well as the treating surgeon.

CONCLUSION: Multimedia tools used in sequence after a verbal consent resulted in improved patient understanding of pertinent information regarding ankle lateral ligament reconstruction surgery.

LEVELS OF EVIDENCE: Therapeutic Level II.


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