Utilizing the “teach-back” method to improve surgical informed consent and shared decision-making: a review

Utilizing the “teach-back” method to improve surgical informed consent and shared decision-making: a review
Review
Kevin D. Seely, Jordan A. Higgs, Andrew Nigh
Patient Safety in Surgery, 5 March 2022; 16(12)
Open Access
Abstract
The teach-back method is a valuable communication tool that can be employed to improve patient safety and shared decision-making. Its utility in patient care has been studied extensively in many areas of clinical medicine. However, the literature on the use of teach-back in surgical patient education and informed consent is limited. Additionally, there is some ambiguity about the functional definition and performance of the teach-back method in the literature, consequently rendering this valuable tool an enigma. This review examines the current standards and ethics of preoperative informed consent and provides a concise, actionable definition of teach-back. The manner in which teach-back has been implemented in medicine and surgery is then examined in detail. Studies analyzing the use of teach-back in medicine have demonstrated its effectiveness and benefit to patient care. Further study on the use of teach-back to improve preoperative informed consent is supported by the few preliminary trials showing a positive effect after implementing the teach-back method in critical patient interactions.

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