Informed consent for anaesthesia: Presential or non-presential information?

Informed consent for anaesthesia: Presential or non-presential information?
Faura A, Izquierdo E, Escriche L, Nogué G, Videla S
Journal of Healthcare Quality Research, 21 Nov 2019
The anaesthesia informed consent (AIC) is a process of communication between a clinician and a patient that results in the patient agreeing to undergo a specific anaesthetic procedure after understanding all the information needed to make a free, voluntary and conscious decision. This information is traditionally given during a face-to-face pre-operative visit.
To evaluate patient perceptions when they receive the information about AIC, face-to-face or by phone.
Patients and Methods
A single centre, randomised, double-blind, parallel-group pilot clinical trial was conducted on patients > 18 years of age undergoing major ambulatory surgery procedures with a surgical complexity that did not require a face-to-face pre-operative visit. Patients were randomly assigned to be informed by telephone (experimental group) or in a face-to-face visit (control group). Fifteen days after the surgery a questionnaire was used to gather patient perceptions in understanding the anaesthetic procedure and risks, autonomy (to ask for explanations), as well as and satisfaction.
Of the 160 patients that gave their consent, 142 were interviewed: 70 from the experimental group and 72 from the control group. Both groups were comparable in age, gender, anaesthetic risk, and surgical complexity. The percentage of patients that understood the information provided on the anaesthetic technique was 71% and 81%, respectively (P=.429); on its risks: 67% and 69% (P=.951); autonomy: 56% and 74% (P=.036) and satisfaction rate: 46% and 46% (P=.835).
There is no difference between the groups in the level of understanding of the information that the patient perceives and the level of satisfaction. Nevertheless, almost half of them did not remember to have been given the possibility to clear-up doubts.

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