Women’s preferences for information and complication seriousness ratings related to elective medical procedures

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To study the preferences of patients for information related to elective procedures.


A survey was carried out using a sample of 187 women. The majority of whom were on a low-income, who obtained obstetric or gynaecological services at St Joseph Regional Medical Center in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, while they were in a waiting room.


Many of the complications, including those that are uncommon and less serious, were considered to be relevant to the medical decisions of most patients. Average seriousness ratings associated with complications of various elective procedures were in the range of moderate to high. A frequency of complications of 1:100 or higher would factor into most women’s elective treatment decisions. Women indicated a preference for receiving as much or more information pertaining to complications associated with particular elective obstetric or gynaecological procedures as other elective procedures.


Most women wish to be informed of risks and treatment alternatives, rate many complications as serious, and are likely to use information provided to make elective treatment decisions.

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