Author(s): Astley CM, Chew DP, Aylward PE
BACKGROUND: Informed consent is a basic standard of care for all patients undergoing medical procedures, but recall of information has been shown to be poor. We sought to compare verbal, written and animated audiovisual information delivery, during consent for coronary angiography, by measuring improvement in recall.
METHOD: A sample population of 99 cardiac patients at Flinders Medical Centre was randomised (1:1:1) to receive one of three information delivery methods. The information content was standardised by a risk proforma, which explained the procedure and defined 12 specific risks. Recall, satisfaction and anxiety were assessed by a questionnaire administered at three different time points: post-consent, post-procedure and at 30 days. Effect of delivery method on satisfaction and anxiety was rated on a self-reported scale from 1-5, with 5 representing very satisfied or very anxious. Groups were compared by non-parametric testing and a p-value of <0.05 was considered statistically significant.
RESULTS: Patients were a median age of 64 (i.q.r. 56, 72) years. Information delivery method had no effect on recall of risks at any time-point (p=0.2, 0.7, 0.5, respectively) and the average recall score across the population was 3-4 out of 12. There was no significant effect on median satisfaction scores: verbal; 5 (i.q.r.4, 5) versus written/audiovisual; 4 (i.q.r.4, 5) (p=ns), or on median anxiety scores: verbal; 3 (i.q.r.2, 4) versus written/audiovisual; 3 (i.q.r.2, 4) (p=ns).
CONCLUSION: Despite careful design of an innovative audiovisual delivery technique aimed at optimising comprehension and aiding memory, recall of information was poor and informational aids showed no improvement. Modes of information delivery are not the key to patient assimilation of complex medical information.Journal of Clinical Research & Bioethics