Brooks, A.J.; Fotheringham, J.; Gane, J.; Sanders, D.S.; McAlindon, M.E.
April 2003
Gut;Apr2003 Supplement 1, Vol. 52, pA23
Academic Journal
Background: The amount and type of information that patients require about risk in order to consent to endoscopic procedures has never been established. Aims: To evaluate the amount of information patients undergoing endoscopic procedures require regarding risk. Methods: Patients were given written and verbal information about the nature, incidence, and consequences of complications, then asked how common each complication would have to be before requiring information for informed consent. Results: 150 colonoscopy and 150 gastroscopy patients were studied. 24-32% of gastroscopy and 31-43% of colonoscopy patients wanted to be informed of one or more complications irrespective of frequency. 19% of gastroscopy and 14% of colonoscopy patients wanted to know about all possible complications. This was unrelated to the severity of the complication. Among gastroscopy patients, 17-25% did not want to be informed of one or more complications no matter how serious or frequent they were, and again, this was unrelated to severity. In the colonoscopy patients only 2-17% did not want to be informed of one or more complications. Significantly fewer [0.7%] colonoscopy patients required no information about any complications, compared to gastroscopy patients (10%, p < 0.001). In both groups many more required information about serious complications than minor complications when the complications occurred with a risk rate < 1/1000 (p < 0.001). Conclusions: Up to a fifth of patients want to be informed of all possible complications. Consenting for colonoscopy requires greater risk disclosure. Patient's threshold for information on major complications is much lower than for minor ones. Serious complications likely to occur in >1/1000 cases should be disclosed to all patients.


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