Rehearsal’s effect on long-term recall and comprehension of orthodontic informed consent

Rehearsal’s effect on long-term recall and comprehension of orthodontic informed consent
Original Article
American Journal of Orthodontics and Dentofacial Orthopedics, 5 October 2021
Alexander R. Desman, Henry W. Fields, Andy Ni, Fonda G. Robinson, Brennan Skulski, Allen R. Firestone, David J. Heinlein
The purpose of this study was to determine if written rehearsal of informed consent improved 6-month recall and comprehension compared with the current best practices.
A consultation was provided and subjects read the modified informed consent document. They were randomized to group A (received the core and up to 4 custom elements of treatment, wrote what each image displayed) or group B (presentation of the 18 elements with core elements chunked at the end followed by up to 4 custom elements). Interviews recording knowledge recall/comprehension occurred immediately and after months later.
Overall, no significant differences in baseline or 6-month follow-up scores were found between groups. Initially, group A outperformed group B in some core domains. There were no significant differences between groups in the change of scores from initial to follow-up. Follow-up scores were significantly lower than baseline scores (P <0.05). Higher initial scores were associated with larger drops at follow-up. A decrease in knowledge >20% was common.
Overall the methods are comparable at baseline and 6-months. Initial content retention was roughly 60+%, with 6%-9% deterioration. For areas of treatment methods, risk, discomfort, and resorption at 6-months, the current processes failed the patient and left the practitioner vulnerable to risk management issues. Results support the rehearsal method with immediate feedback for misunderstandings as the preferred method for informed consent.

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