Informed Consent: Verbal or Video?In this study doctors compared the results of two types of informed consent: verbal and video. Before any surgery takes place patients must sign a form agreeing to the operation. It's called informed consent. By signing this form, the patient says in effect, "I agree to this operation. I understand the risks."
During the informed consent process the doctor or an assistant usually gives verbal instructions. The operation is explained step-by-step. The patient can ask any questions or ask for more information. In this study one group was given verbal instructions. The second group watched a video with the same instructions. Patients in both groups were planning to have arthroscopic knee surgery.
Both groups answered questions after the informed consent process. The results of the survey were reviewed to see how much the patients understood and remembered. The two groups were compared based on education level (less than 12th grade or more than 12th grade).
The authors reported greater understanding in the video group. Both groups were equally satisfied with the information. In both groups patients with more than a high school education understood the instructions better. Patients with less than a 12th grade education had the greatest gain in understanding from the video method.
Michael J. Rossi, MD, et al. Video Informed Consent Improves Knee Arthroscopy Patient Comprehension. In Arthroscopy. June 2005. Vol. 21. No. 6. Pp. 739-743.
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