Post-operative telephone review is safe and effective: prospective study - Monash outpatient review by phone trial.

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Abstract

INTRODUCTION

Studies have shown that post-operative telephone follow-up is satisfactory and effective. As high quality evidence is scant, we conducted a randomized controlled trial to compare it against outpatient clinic review for emergency laparoscopic appendicectomy or cholecystectomy.

METHOD

Patients who received emergency laparoscopic appendicectomy or cholecystectomy were eligible for this study. Once recruited, they were randomly allocated to either clinic review or telephone follow-up on discharge. Participants were reviewed at 2 weeks after operation and contacted again at 4 weeks after initial follow-up for satisfaction survey.

RESULTS

One hundred and seventy-nine participants were recruited with one withdrawn consent and six excluded. Ninety-six underwent laparoscopic appendicectomy and 76 had laparoscopic cholecystectomy. Ninety-six attended clinic review and 76 had telephone follow-up. The two groups were similar in baseline variables. Non-attendance rate was higher for clinic review cohort (24% vs 6.6%, P = 0.002). Participants who received telephone review reported higher satisfaction level (9.31 vs 8.85, P = 0.002), and most patients prefer telephone follow-up (73.1%, P < 0.0001). No difference was detected for missed complications (P = 0.354).

CONCLUSION

Telephone follow-up post laparoscopic appendicectomy or cholecystectomy is safe, satisfying and effective.

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