Interventions to Improve Informed Consent: Perhaps Surgeons Should Speak Less and Listen More

Interventions to Improve Informed Consent: Perhaps Surgeons Should Speak Less and Listen More
Invited Commentary
Peter Angelos
JAMA Surgery, 30 October 2019
Exceprt
High-quality informed consent is central to the ethical practice of surgery. In this issue of JAMA Surgery, Schwarze and colleagues report on a novel attempt to increase patient engagement and well-being by sending older surgical patients a question prompt list (QPL) before their visit with a surgeon. For older patients undergoing high-risk operations, the authors have appropriately pointed out that the surgical procedure is often the start of a lengthy hospitalization and subsequent substantial changes in their ability to live independently or return to preoperative health status. They sought to improve the informed consent process for this group of vulnerable patients by working with surgeons to develop an informational brochure with a list of 11 questions to prompt patients and family members to ask their surgeons about treatment options, expectations for recovery, and management of potential serious complications…

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