Dr Brooks and colleagues from England determined how much information patients require about complication risk to provide informed consent for endoscopy.
The investigators discussed endoscopic complications and their consequences with consecutive patients who had undergone endoscopy.
The patients were asked how common each complication would have to be for them to require information about the complication.
Data were obtained from 150 gastroscopy patients, of which 51 % were male with a median age of 56 years.
The investigative team also obtained data from 150 colonoscopy patients, of which 60 % were male with a median age of 55 years.
Patients in both groups were more likely to want to know about major rather than minor complications at a lower level of risk.
|19% of gastroscopy and 14% of colonoscopy patients wanted to know of all possible complications |
The team found that 19% of gastroscopy patients and 14% of colonoscopy patients wanted to know about all possible complications.
These patients wanted information on the possible complications no matter how inconsequential or rare.
Colonoscopy patients were less likely to want no information about any complications than gastroscopy patients.
Dr Brooks, “The information patients require in order to provide informed consent is very variable.”
”Many appear to make a judgement about the need for information depending on the perceived severity of the complication.”
“However, some want information about all complications, irrespective of risk and severity.”
“The level of risk at which they require this information is likely to be higher than the level used by doctors who are obtaining consent from patients.”
“The process may be improved by providing procedure-specific information leaflets that offer information regarding common and serious complications.”