Patient information is an essential component of any surgical procedure as it allows the surgeon to collect informed consent. This is a legal obligation in the civil code and a professional obligation in the code of medical ethics. As a result, the French spinal surgery society (SFCR) decided to make a model information sheet available on the Internet. The goal of this prospective study was to evaluate the impact of this information sheet when given to patients before scheduled spinal surgery.
This was a single-centre prospective study performed between November 2014 and February 2015. Seventy patients filled out two questionnaires. The first was about the quality of the medical information given orally by the surgeon; it was administered to patients after the preoperative consultation. The second was about the quality of the medical information contained in the information sheet; it was administered after patients had read this sheet. For each of the questions, patients could either select “yes” if they found the information to be correct/useful (1 point) or “no” if not (0 point).
The mean patient age was 56.7 years (range: 28–86). The average number of “yes” answers was 7.07 (out of 12) in the first questionnaire. The average number of “yes” answers was 10.3 (out of 12) after reading the information sheet. This indicates that patients were significantly better informed after reading the SFCR sheet. The written document was deemed to be understandable (mean: 8/10). It answered the patients’ questions (mean: 6.7/10) and helped them understand how the surgical procedure would be carried out (mean: 7.3/10). The patients’ level of education did not significantly alter these findings.
Adding a written SFCR information sheet to the preoperative consultation improved patients’ understanding before scheduled spine surgery.
Level of evidence
Low-powered prospective study.Le texte complet de cet article est disponible en PDF.
Keywords : Information, Consent, Spinal surgery