Patients Postoperatively Forget Aspects of Preoperative Patient Education
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Background: Preoperative patient education is critically important to the success of any bariatric operation. In our clinic, we perform extensive preoperative education and informed consent. Part of the informed consent process includes a preoperative true/false quiz. This study tests the hypothesis that postoperative patients do not recall key components of their preoperative education. Methods: Preoperatively, all patients were required to take the true/false quiz and retake it, if necessary, until they received all the questions correct. All patients were given their preoperative informed consent quiz again at least 1 month after laparoscopic gastric bypass, during their postoperative clinic visit. Patients >1 year postoperatively from surgery were compared to patients <1 year postoperatively. Results: 63 patients were included in this study. Originally, 46% of patients did not get all the questions correct the first time; mean score on the quiz preoperatively was 95%. Patients took the test an average of 8 months after surgery. Postoperatively, 46% of patients did not get all the questions correct; mean score on the quiz was 96%. The 2 most common incorrect answers were: "Obesity surgery is basically an aid to dieting: it does not mean that you will lose weight no matter what you eat or do (True)" and "Diabetes, high blood pressure, back pain and similar ailments always get better after obesity surgery (False)". Patients >1 year postoperative were more likely not to get all the questions correct (80% vs 36%; P<0.01; two-tailed Fisher's exact test). Conclusions: Patients do not remember basic preoperative education facts after their bariatric surgery. Despite maximal efforts in verifying preoperative education, patients often forget this critical information after bariatric surgery. Patients 1 year after surgery forget more information.
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