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Patients' preferences on information and involvement in decision-making for gastrointestinal surgery

By E. Uldry, M. Schafer, A. Saadi, V. Rousson and N. Demartines


Objective: The relationship between physicians and patients has undergone¦important changes, and the current emancipation of patients has led to¦a real partnership in medical decision-making. This study aimed to assess¦patients' preferences on different aspects of decision-making during treatment¦and potential complications, as well as the amount and type of preoperative¦information before visceral surgery.¦Methods: Prospective non-randomized study based on a questionnaire given¦to 253 consecutive patients scheduled for elective GI surgery.¦Results: Concerning surgical complications or treatment in the intensive care¦unit, 64% of patients wished to take actively part in any medical decisions.¦The respective figures for cardiac resuscitation and treatment limitations were¦89% and 60%. About information, 73%, 77% and 47% of patients wish¦detailed information, information on a potential ICUhospitalization and cardiac¦resuscitation, respectively. Elderly and low-educated patients were significantly¦less interested in shared medical decision-making (p = 0·003 and 0·015) and in¦information receiving (p = 0·03 and 0·05). Similarly, involvement of the family¦in decision-making was significantly less important in elderly and male patients¦(p = 0·05 and 0·03 respectively). Neither the type of operation (minor or major)¦nor the severity of disease (malignancies vs. non-malignancies) was a significant¦factor for shared decision-making, information or family involvement.¦Conclusion: The vast majority of surgical patients clearly want to get adequate¦preoperative information about their disease and the planned treatment. They¦also consider it as crucial to be involved in any kind of decision-making for¦treatment and complications. The family's role is limited to support the treating¦physicians if the patient is unable to participate in taking decisions

Year: 2012
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