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Patient prompts in surgical consultations: A systematic review

Published:September 29, 2022DOI:https://doi.org/10.1016/j.surg.2022.08.031

      Abstract

      Background

      Quality communication has been found to improve patient outcomes. Despite good communication, information may still be forgotten or misunderstood by patients. A question prompt list is a document to help patients ask questions. Question prompt lists are well perceived by various stakeholders and have been found of benefit to patients. This systematic review evaluated the effectiveness of patient question prompting documents in surgical outpatient consultations.

      Methods

      MEDLINE, EMBASE, and PsychINFO were searched on September 13, 2021. Study selection, data extraction, and risk of bias assessment were performed in duplicate. We included English studies that investigated the use of question prompt lists and their influence on patient outcomes. We excluded studies that did not have a comparator group. Because of heterogeneity of outcome measures, meta-analysis was precluded. This study was registered with PROSPERO (identification number: CRD42021279058).

      Results

      Searches identified 107 suitable studies; however, only 7 studies met eligibility criteria. All included studies were randomized controlled trials, but the designs of studies were heterogenous. Three out of 7 included studies were at a high risk of bias. The included studies investigated different outcomes that could be broadly categorized into 5 themes: consultation characteristics, patient engagement, patient well-being, information exchange, and patient satisfaction. None of the studies looked at patient recall of information. Aside from length of consultation, the overall results for each category were mixed.

      Conclusion

      Current literature has suggested that question prompt lists are a low-risk intervention that could improve patient engagement and patient-doctor communication; however, there is limited evidence at present to conclusively promote their usage in perioperative surgical consultations.

      Abbreviations:

      QPL (Question Prompting List), PICO (Patient Intervention Comparison Outcome), PICS (Patient Perceived Involvement in Care tool), ASK (AskShareKnow), PEPPI-5 (5-Item Perceived Efficacy in Patient-Physician Interaction), HCCQ (Health Care Climate Questionnaire), STAI (State Anxiety Index), AMSTAR (Assessing the Methodological Quality of Systematic Reviews), PRISMA (Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses), PEMAT-P (Patient Education Materials Assessment Tool for Printable Materials), PROMIS (Patient-Reported Outcomes Measurement Information System), MYCaW (Measure Yourself Concerns and Wellbeing)
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