Web-Based Education Prior to Knee Arthroscopy Enhances Informed Consent and Patient Knowledge Recall: A Prospective, Randomized Controlled Study

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Background:Preoperative patient education is an important part of the informed consent process, and a perceived lack of information can lower patient satisfaction. We sought to evaluate the effect of a web-based multimedia patient education tool on the perioperative experience of patients undergoing first-time knee arthroscopy for a meniscal tear.Methods:Adult patients undergoing knee arthroscopy for the first time for a primary diagnosis of a meniscal tear were consecutively enrolled into the study from January 2014 through June 2014. Patients were equally randomized to a control group, who received standard preoperative counseling, or the intervention group, who completed a twenty-minute web-based multimedia tutorial in addition to standard counseling. The web-based tutorial covered relevant anatomy, pathology, and general perioperative instructions, and it was completed prior to the preoperative visit. Patients completed surveys that evaluated their preparedness for surgery and knowledge recall at the preoperative visit, on the day of surgery, and after the first postoperative visit.Results:Sixty-four patients were enrolled, and fifty-five patients (86%; twenty-nine in the control group and twenty-six in the intervention group) with complete data sets were included in the analysis. Preoperatively, the intervention group felt significantly more informed about the surgery and more clearly understood the risks and benefits of, and alternatives to, the surgery (all p < 0.001). Postoperatively, the intervention group reported being significantly more satisfied with the perioperative education that they had received and felt more informed about their surgery and rehabilitation (p ≤ 0.05). Patients in the intervention group were significantly more likely to correctly answer questions regarding their surgical details at the first postoperative visit (p ≤ 0.03).Conclusions:Patients who completed the web-based tutorial had improved preoperative knowledge and preparedness as well as enhanced postoperative knowledge recall regarding their surgical procedure. The tutorial received high user satisfaction scores with low user burden scores and was an effective tool for enhancing the patients’ perioperative experience.Level of Evidence:Therapeutic Level I. See Instructions for Authors for a complete description of levels of evidence.

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