What patients want to know before they have cataract surgery
- Department of Ophthalmology, Christchurch School of Medicine, Christchurch University of Otago, New Zealand
- Correspondence to: Associate Professor Mark Elder Ophthalmology Department, Christchurch Hospital, Private Bag 4710, Christchurch, New Zealand;
- Accepted 2 June 2003
Aims: To investigate what patients want to know before undergoing cataract surgery.
Methods: A written questionnaire was answered by 190 patients prior to cataract surgery.
Results: The five pieces of preoperative information rated most important were: chance of visual improvement; when vision would improve; overall risk of losing vision from the operation; effect of not having the operation, and the types of serious complications. When asked “should you be warned of a serious complication if it has a risk of happening”, 93.5% said yes to a risk of 1 in 50 and 62.4% to 1 in 1000. Written information was requested by 85.7%. There were few differences between the sexes, and between those having their first or second operation.
Conclusions: Patients most wanted to know benefits and risks, even very small risks. Written information should be provided to ensure coverage and reinforce verbal information.
The authors have no commercial interests in any aspects of this paper.