Development, Piloting and Evaluation of an evidence-based informed consent form for total knee arthroplasty (EvAb-Pilot): A protocol for a mixed methods study

Development, Piloting and Evaluation of an evidence-based informed consent form for total knee arthroplasty (EvAb-Pilot): A protocol for a mixed methods study
Alina Weise, Julia Lühnen, Stefanie Bühn, Felicia Steffen, Sandro Zacher, Lauberger Julia, Deha Murat Ates, Andreas Böhmer, Henning Rosenau, Anke Steckelberg, Tim Mathes
Research Square, 15 December 2020
Open Access
Abstract
Background
Practitioners frequently use informed consent forms to support the physician-patient communication and the informed consent process. Informed consent for surgery often focuses on risk centered information due to high liability risks for treatment errors. This may affect patients’ anxiety of adverse events and the nocebo effect. This study focuses on the optimization of pre-surgical information on risks and complications, and at the same time reconcile these information with legal requirements.
Methods
The development, piloting and evaluation of evidence-based informed consent forms for total knee arthroplasty (TKA) and related anesthesia procedures will follow the UK MRC Framework for developing and evaluating complex interventions. Conducting different sub-studies, we will (I) qualitatively explore the information acquisition and decision making processes, (II) develop and pilot test evidence-based informed consent forms on the example of TKA and related anesthesia procedures, (III) conduct a monocentric interrupted time series (ITS) pilot study to evaluate the effects of evidence-based informed consent forms in comparison with standard consent forms and (IV) perform a process evaluation to identify barriers and facilitators to the implementation of the intervention and to analyze mechanisms of impact.
Discussion
The evidence-based and understandable presentation of risks in informed consent forms aims at avoiding distorted risk depiction and strengthening the patients’ competences to correctly assess the risks of undergoing surgery. This might reduce negative expectations and anxiety of adverse events, which in turn might reduce the nocebo effect. At the same time, the practitioners’ acceptance of evidence-based informed consent forms meeting legal requirements could be increased.

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