Author(s): Paul S Shurnas, Michael J Coughlin
Purpose: To determine the number of risks a patient can recall from the informed consent process prior to surgery and if recall can be improved with a visual aid and to assess patient satisfaction with the informed consent process utilized. Methods: Randomly selected patients, from all patients requiring forefoot surgery, were randomly assigned into two groups from August 2001 through October 2001. All patients were asked to recall the risks of surgery and to rate their satisfaction with the informed consent process at their final routine postoperative visit. Results: There were 19 patients in each group. All patients uniformly expressed their satisfaction with the preoperative informed consent discussion at their final visit. The mean number of the 11 risks recalled per patient was 1.0 for group A (range, 0–3) and 0.94 for group B (range, 0–4). Conclusion: At the final routine postoperative visit, patients in both groups had poor or no recall of the risks of surgery. The visual aid had no effect on improving recall.