Informed consent: What risks are material to patients consenting for urological procedures?

Informed consent: What risks are material to patients consenting for urological procedures?
Research Article
Nadine McCauley, Siya Lodhia, Andrea Ong, Calum Clark, Tim Lane
Journal of Clinical Urology, 31 March 2021
Abstract
Objective
This study aimed to assess patient recall of the consent discussion for urological procedures and to identify which risks were material to urology patients.
Methods
A total of 102 patients undergoing urological procedures were interviewed in the 24-hour period surrounding the procedure. A self-designed, piloted questionnaire recorded information from the patient’s signed consent form and patient-reported data of the consent discussion.
Results
The mean patient recall was 2.06 risks, whereas the average number of risks listed by the operating surgeon on the consent form was 5.69 risks. The most frequently recalled risk was impotence (91%), followed by urinary incontinence (63%) and haematuria (61%). The risks associated with poorest patient recall were stent symptoms (0%), urethral catheter insertion (5%) and recurrence (8%).
Conclusions
Poor patient recall of the consent discussion has again been demonstrated in this study. However, certain urological procedure risks are better recalled by patients, with impotence, urinary incontinence and haematuria being most frequently recalled. Medical terminology such as stent or catheter may be poorly recalled due to a disparity in understanding between patient and clinician. Clinicians should be aware of poor patient recall when consenting for urology procedures and should ensure precise documentation.

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